The U.S. Forest Service requests applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP). This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access. Eligible lands for grants funded under this program are private forest that is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, must not be held in trust by the United States on behalf of any Indian Tribe, must not be Tribal allotment lands, must be offered for sale by a willing seller, and if acquired by an eligible entity, must provide defined community benefits under CFP and allow public access.
How to Apply
Local government and nonprofit applicants in Pennsylvania must submit applications to Pennsylvania State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger at firstname.lastname@example.org. All applications, either hardcopy or electronic, must be received by the state forester by January 6th, 2020. State foresters must forward applications to the appropriate Forest Service Regional office by February 6th, 2020.
Applicants must consult with the state forester prior to requesting technical assistance for a project. All applicants must also send an email to email@example.com to confirm an application has been submitted for funding consideration.