United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jan 29, 2023
The Secretary shall establish a pilot program to enroll land in the conservation reserve program through a 30-year conservation reserve contract (referred to in this subsection as a “CLEAR 30 contract”) in accordance with this subsection.
For purposes of applying the limitations in section 3831(d)(1) of this title, the Secretary shall include acres of land enrolled under this subsection.
Only land that is subject to an expired covered contract shall be eligible for enrollment through a CLEAR 30 contract under this subsection.
The term of a CLEAR 30 contract shall be 30 years.
On the violation of a term or condition of a CLEAR 30 contract, the Secretary may require the owner to refund all or part of any payments received by the owner under the conservation reserve program, with interest on the payments, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall provide payment under this subsection to an owner of land enrolled through a CLEAR 30 contract using 30 annual payments in an amount equal to the amount that would be used if the land were to be enrolled in the conservation reserve program under section 3831(d)(3) of this title.
Compensation for a CLEAR 30 contract shall be provided by the Secretary in the form of a cash payment in an amount determined under subparagraph (A).
The Secretary shall provide any annual payment obligation under subparagraph (A) as early as practicable in each fiscal year.
The Secretary shall assist owners in complying with the terms and conditions of a CLEAR 30 contract.
The Secretary may enter into 1 or more contracts with private entities or agreements with a State, nongovernmental organization, or Indian Tribe to carry out necessary maintenance of a CLEAR 30 contract if the Secretary determines that the contract or agreement will advance the purposes of the conservation reserve program.
The Secretary shall develop a conservation reserve plan for any land subject to a CLEAR 30 contract, which shall include practices and activities necessary to maintain, protect, and enhance the conservation value of the enrolled land.
The Secretary may delegate any of the management, monitoring, and enforcement responsibilities of the Secretary under this subsection to other Federal, State, or local government agencies that have the appropriate authority, expertise, and resources necessary to carry out those delegated responsibilities.
The Secretary may delegate any management responsibilities of the Secretary under this subsection to conservation organizations if the Secretary determines the conservation organization has similar expertise and resources.
The term “eligible land” does not include any land that was enrolled in a conservation reserve program contract in any of the 3 crop years preceding enrollment in the pilot program under this subsection.
The Secretary shall establish a voluntary soil health and income protection pilot program under which eligible land is enrolled through the use of contracts to assist owners and operators of eligible land to conserve and improve the soil, water, and wildlife resources of the eligible land.
Eligible land may be enrolled in the program under this section through
Except as provided in subparagraphs (E) and (F)(ii)(II), the annual rental rate for a payment under a contract described in paragraph (2) shall be equal to 50 percent of the average rental rate for the applicable county under section 3834(d) of this title, as determined by the Secretary.
Not more than 15 percent of the eligible land on a farm may be enrolled in the pilot program under this subsection.
Except as provided in clause (ii), each contract described in paragraph (2) shall be for a term of 3, 4, or 5 years, as determined by the parties to the contract.
The Secretary may terminate a contract described in paragraph (2) before the end of the term described in clause (i) if the Secretary determines that the early termination of the contract is necessary.
An owner and (if applicable) an operator of eligible land enrolled in the pilot program under this subsection may terminate a contract described in paragraph (2) before the end of the term described in clause (i) if the owner and (if applicable) the operator pay to the Secretary an amount equal to the amount of rental payments received under the contract.
Of the number of acres available for enrollment in the conservation reserve under section 3831(d)(1) of this title, not more than 50,000 total acres of eligible land may be enrolled under the pilot program under this subsection.