Forest Legacy fund applications sought
The Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications for funding from the federal Forest Legacy Program. Applications for conservation easements are due in June.
The Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications for funding from the federal Forest Legacy Program to acquire conservation easements on privately owned forest land in Wisconsin, or for the outright purchase on the land. Applications are due on June 14.
Conservation easements typically involve placing deed restrictions on the property that would bar housing or other development on the land in exchange for a payment. (Essentially the landowner would receive the payment in exchange for limiting future use to forestry, including timber sales.)
Funds are granted through a two-stage competitive ranking system, according to Ron Gropp the Wisconsin Forest Legacy Program coordinator. Applications are “scored” and then ranked by a state team. Then the top applications go through a similar competition at the federal level.
The federal government typically funds 75% of a successful grant award. The remaining 25% may come from state funding sources, the landowner, or a non-profit (like The Nature Conservancy, Gathering Waters, or The Conservation Fund).
All of the applications are “scored” in both the state and federal competitions. Factors that would tend to raise scores are:
- Highly productive soil for timber production
- The presence of endangered species
- Documented fish and wildlife importance
- The presence of water supply, wetlands and riparian areas
- Public access for recreation
- Presence of a forest management plan for sustainable forestry
- Participation in sustainable forestry programs like SFI or the American Tree Farm System
The land should be about 1,000 acres or more.
Applications should be sent to:
Forest Legacy Program coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Division of Forestry
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921