7 CFR 623.11 - Obligations of the landowner.
(a) All owners of land who accept an EWRP offer from NRCS shall:
(1) Comply with the terms of the easement.
(2) Comply with all terms and conditions of the WRPO for the full life of the easement.
(3) Ensure that the easement granted to NRCS is superior to the interest of all other parties who may have an interest in the easement area, except as authorized by NRCS. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, obtaining a written statement of consent to such a superior easement from those holding a security interest or any other encumbrance or the land covered by the easement. Additionally, the landowner shall perfect the easement with superior NRCS interest in accordance with State law.
(4) Agree to the permanent retirement of the aggregate total of crop acreage bases, and allotment and mandatory quota on the farm or ranch in order to maintain the base allotment on quota acres at or below the number of acres of cropland after the easement has been perfected.
(5) Not allow grazing or commercial use of the land covered by an easement except as provided for in the WRPO, or harvesting of any agricultural commodity produced on the land subject to the EWRP easement.
(6) Comply with Federal or State noxious week laws in the manner specified in the WRPO.
(7) Control other identified weed and pest species, in the manner specified in the WRPO.
(8) Be responsible for repairs, improvements, and inspections of the WRPO practices as necessary to maintain existing public drainage systems when the land is restored to the condition required by the terms of the easement, the contract, and the easement.
(9) Be permitted to control public access, in accordance with the WRPO, on the land enrolled in the program.
(10) Implement any additional provisions that are required by NRCS in consultation with FWS in the contract, WRPO, or easement, in order to, as determined by NRCS, facilitate the administration of the EWRP.
(11) Not alter the vegetation, except to harvest already planted crops or forage, or hydrology on such acres subsequent to perfection of the easement by the landowner, except as provided for in the easement or WRPO.
(12) Be responsible for the long-term management of the easement in accordance with the terms of the easement and related agreements including the WRPO. Owners may enter into agreements with Federal or State agencies or private organizations to assist in the management of the easement area. No NRCS funds will be provided to these agencies or organizations for management expenses. Responsibility for management of the easement shall in all cases remain with the owner and the owner's successors of any kind regardless of whether arrangements are made for third-party management.
(13) Agree that each person with an interest in the land covered by an easement under EWRP shall be jointly and severally responsible for compliance with the WRPO, the easement, the provisions of this part, and for any refunds or payment adjustment which may be required for violation of any terms or conditions of the WRPO, the easement, or provisions of this part.
(14) Refrain from taking any action on the easement area unless specifically authorized in the reserve interest easement or the WRPO; and
(15) Secure any necessary local, State and Federal permits prior to commencing restoration of the designated area.
(b) In addition, program participants and their successors of any kind may:
(1) Not alter wildlife habitat and other natural land features of the enrolled land unless authorized by the WRPO.
(2) Apply pesticides or fertilizers on enrolled land or mow such land, only as provided for in the WRPO.
(3) Not engage in any activities on other land on the farm on which the easement exists that will, as determined by NRCS; (i) alter the flow of surface or subsurface water into or out of the easement area except as specified in the WRPO; or (ii) be otherwise inconsistent with the terms of the easement.
(c) The activities of any person on the property shall be considered for purposes of this section to be the actions of the program participant. However, if the NRCS determines that the activities of the person were beyond the control of the program participants, NRCS may adjust the remedies provided for in this part to the extent determined consistent with program goals. Obligations created by the easement shall run with the land and shall bind all persons having an interest in the property at any time whether such interest is created by death of the owner, sale, assignment, or otherwise.