ce_eligibilityWAC’s current eligibility requirements for a conservation easement include the following:

1. Applicant’s property must have an active and current Whole Farm Plan (WFP) approved by the Agricultural Committee
2. Property’s producer must be farming in accordance with the WFP.
3. Applicants may not have a suspended or inactive WFP.
4. Property must be a minimum of 50 Acres in size (exceptions considered as per the Applicant Selection Guidelines).
5. Applicant’s property is not located in a 1997 New York City Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) hamlet designation area or a 2010 Proposed Hamlet Expansion Area (PHEA) where a municipality has adopted a resolution establishing a hamlet area.
6. Applicant(s) must own the property (tax parcels) listed on the application.
7. The proposed property to be eased must be wholly or partially located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the New York City West of Hudson (WoH) Watershed.
8. If an applicant already has a WAC Conservation Easement, the applicant must be in good standing with the Easement Program.

One of the primary eligibility requirements for a WAC Conservation Easement, the Whole Farm Plan (WFP), must be developed and approved through WAC’s Agricultural Program. Eligibility requirements for a WFP may be obtained from WAC’s Agricultural Program.

Applications are available here. If you have questions about filing out the application or how to obtain a copy of your Whole Farm Plan please call (607) 865-7790, ext. 100.

Landowners interested in selling a a WAC conservation easement to WAC must submit an application along with a copy of their current Whole Farm Plan to the easement program.

Acquisition Requirements and the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement

Since WAC’s conservation easement program was prescribed in the 1997 New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), WAC must acquire conservation easements in a manner consistent with requirements in the MOA and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Land Acquisition Program (LAP). Acquisition requirements for WAC conservation easements under the MOA include but are not limited to the following: Willing Buyer/Willing Seller transactions, Fair Market Value (FMV) valuation of all easements, municipal review of all easements to be acquired by WAC, good and marketable title, and a Certificate of Final Approval by the City of New York.

Application Deadlines

WAC acquires conservation easements based on funding availability provided by the DEP and program capacity. Application submission and review and approval of all qualified applicants is rolling, based on available program funding, program capacity and program production needs.

To better understand all current eligibility and selection criteria requirements for a WAC conservation easement, refer to the Watershed Agricultural Council’s Conservation Easement Acquisition Policy and Easement Program Application Selection Guidelines. Or for further information call 607-865-7790 ext. 100.