The Farm Protection Program (FPP) is a voluntary federal program that provides funding to buy conservation easements from farmers and ranchers in an effort to limit conversion of farmland to nonagricultural uses. FPP provides matching funds to state and local governments and private organizations working with established farm and ranch land protection programs, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Since 1996, the program has protected more than 449,000 acres throughout the United States. Authority for FPP expires September 30, 2007. Although demand to participate in FPP continues to grow, exceeding available funding, there are concerns about how the program has been implemented. Among these concerns are land use limitations and the federal government’s “contingent right” on land under FPP-funded easements. During the 109th Congress, several bills were introduced to amend the FPP statute and to raise program funding, but legislation was not enacted. Similar legislation may be considered in the 110th Congress and in the anticipated 2007 farm bill debate. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Farm Protection Program: Status and Current Issues
Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service
January 05, 2007
Reports and Guides
Farm Bill, Federal Farmland Protection Policies & Programs