Grasslands Reserve Program Law and Legal Definition

Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) is a conservation program undertaken by the federal government. The GRP provides assistance to landowners and operators to protect grazing users and related conservation values by conserving and restoring grassland resources on eligible private lands through rental contracts, easements, and restoration agreements.

Some of the purposes of GRP are the following:

1. To support grazing operations;

2. To maintain and improve plant and animal biodiversity; and

3. To protect grasslands and shrub lands from the threat of conversion to uses other than grazing.

According to 7 CFR 1415.4, only landowners can submit applications for easements to get benefit under GRP. For rental contracts, applicants must own or provide written evidence of control of the property for the duration of the rental contract. A rental contract requires that the area should be maintained in accordance with GRP goals and objectives.

However, easement and rental contracts prohibit the following activities:

1.To produce crops such as fruit trees, vineyards, or other agricultural commodity that is inconsistent with maintaining grazing land;

2. To conduct of any other activity that would be inconsistent with maintaining grazing uses and related conservation values protected under an easement or rental contract;

Rental contracts may be terminated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) without penalty or refund if the original participant dies, or is declared legally incompetent, or is otherwise unavailable during a contract period.