Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection

Funding Program Name: Forest Legacy Program
Program Overview The 2014 Omnibus funds the Forest Legacy Program (FLP). The USDA Forest Service supports state efforts to protect environmentally important forest lands from the conversion to non-forest uses through the use of conservation easements and fee-simple purchase. Designed to encourage the protection of privately owned forest lands, FLP is an entirely voluntary program. The program enables landowners to retain ownership of their land and continue to earn income from it while keeping drinking water safe and clean, conserving valuable open space as well as protecting critical wildlife habitats and outdoor recreation opportunities. The program promotes professional forest management and requires forest management plans. The program emphasizes strategic conservation - working in partnership with States, local communities and non-governmental organizations to make a difference on the land and for communities by conserving areas of unbroken forest, watershed or river corridor forests or by complimenting existing land conservation efforts. FLP conservation easements restrict development, protect a range of public values and many require public access for recreation.
Application Deadline Applications are submitted to the State Lead Agency in each participating State. While some States have discrete open seasons others accept applications year-round. There are currently 53 participating States and Territories in FLP. A list of State and regional Forest Service contacts can be viewed at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml.
When Funds are Available Project funds, by way of a grant to the State Lead Agency, are available upon the closing of the real estate transaction of the acquisition of land or interest in lands.
Average annual number of applicants 53. Project proposals are reviewed by States and only priority projects are submitted to the Forest Service for funding where they are competitively ranked before annual appropriations determine how many of the top projects will be funded.
Typical percentage of applicants funded -
Is a matched amount required? Yes
Match Amount A minimum 25 percent non-Federal cost share is required. Federal contribution cannot exceed 75 percent of total project costs. The non-Federal cost share may consist of: funds, donations, land or interests in land, in-kind contributions, direct costs, indirect costs, and others as determined by the Forest Service
Funding Level FY 2016 $54.6 million (est.)
Funding Level FY 2015 $53 million
Funding Level FY 2014 $50.965 million
Funding Level FY 2013 $50.15 million
Typical lowest amount awarded $225,000
Typical highest amount awarded $7 million
Typical median amount awarded $2.5 million
Other details on funding See the five-year strategic direction document at: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/library/flp_strategicdir.pdf
Primary Address Private landowners should contact their state lead agency directly for more information.
See http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml for individual state contact information.
Primary Telephone See: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml for individual state contact information.
Primary Email See: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml for individual state contact information.
Primary Internet http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml
Secondary Address USDA Forest Service, Cooperative Forestry
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Mailstop 1123
Washington, D.C. 20250
Secondary Telephone (202) 205-1618
Secondary Email sstewart@fs.fed.us
Secondary Internet www.cfda.gov (Program number 10.676)
Legislative Authority The Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act (CFAA) of 1978, as amended (16 U.S.C. 2103c et. seq.)
Associated Keywords Forests, Land Acquisition, Nonpoint Source Control, Partnerships, Planning, Watershed Management, Wildlife
Eligible Organizations Private Landowner, State/Territorial Agency
Eligibility Constraints Participation in Forest Legacy is limited to private forest landowners who are required to prepare a multiple resource management plan as part of the conservation easement acquisition. The federal government may fund up to 75% of project costs, with a least 25% coming from private, State or local sources.