$1.35M available for NYS Forest Conservation Program

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has approximately $1.35 million in first-round grants available for the FCELT (Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts). The program allows eligible land trusts to purchase land for conservation purposes.

“The ability of forest lands to absorb and store carbon makes conserving New York’s forests a critical tool in addressing the climate crisis,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Today’s announcement builds on the success of DEC’s Conservation Partnership Program in working with the Land Trust Alliance and our statewide land trust partners to invest in the protection New York’s forests against development pressures and providing essential forest benefits to New Yorkers, such as clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, forest products and carbon storage.

Applicants can apply for up to $350,000 to fund the acquisition of conservation easements on forest land. To apply, a match of 25% of the requested grant is required and land trusts must be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

FCELT has a two-step application process, which includes a letter of interest followed by a full application. Letters of interest should be sent no later than May 16 and full applications are by invitation only. Applicants invited to submit a final application will be notified no later than June 13 and final applications will be due no later than July 28.

Funding for the grant program is provided by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The EPF funds environmental programs such as land acquisition, protection of farmland, prevention and eradication of invasive species, improving access to recreation and improving water quality. water.

Eligibility requirements and other funding documents may be found on the Land Trust Alliance website.

Ryan H. Bowman