Since 1990, The Forest Legacy Program has worked with States and Partners to Conserve Almost 1.8 Million Acres of Open Space
In Vermont today, U.S. Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell, announced the award of $50 million in grants to permanently protect twenty-four working forests across twenty-one states, through the Forest Legacy Program. This program permanently protects important private forestland threatened by conversion.
“The Forest Legacy Program conserves open space which allows us to respond to climate change, improves water quality and flows and connects children to nature,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The strength of the Forest Legacy Program is the cooperation between States, partners and private landowners—all working together to protect environmentally and economically important forests that are threatened by conversion.”
Examples of 2009 projects include: forest essential for wildlife and recreation in Maine; pine ecosystem critical for threatened and endangered species in Arkansas and working forests that support rural jobs in Oregon.
The Forest Legacy Program promotes voluntary land conservation by operating on the principle of “willing buyer, willing seller.” Private forest landowners are facing increasing real estate prices, property taxes and development pressure, which result in conversion of forests to other land uses. The Forest Legacy Program focuses on conserving working forests – those that provide clean water, forest products, fish and wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
Most Forest Legacy Program projects are conserved through conservation easements, allowing landowners to keep their forestlands while protecting them from future development.
2009 Forest Legacy Program project grants:
|CA||Chalk Mountain Area||$3,000,000|
|MN||Koochiching Forest Legacy||$3,500,000|
|AS||Ottoville Rainforest Preserve||$500,000|
|MA||Southern Monadnock Plateau II||$2,200,000|
|PA||Tree Farm #1||$3,500,000|
|VA||New River Corridor||$490,000|
|MT||North Swan River Valley||$2,000,000|
|MI||Northern Great Lakes Forest Project||$2,000,000|
|CO||Snow Mountain Ranch||$2,500,000|
|NH||Green Acre Woodlands||$1,200,000|
|UT||Chalk Creek South Fork #2||$3,100,000|
|OH||Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest||$2,000,000|
|AR||Pine -Flatwoods Recovery Initiative||$2,060,000|
|ID||Gold Creek Ranch||$510,000|
For 2009, the Forest Service selected 24 projects out of 83 excellent state proposals that totaled $193 million. Details of the President’s 2010 budget released this week show 47 projects proposed with an increase in funding to more than $91 million.
The Forest Legacy Program uses a national competitive process to select the most ecologically and socially important, threatened and strategic projects. The program consistently leverages more than a 50-percent non-federal match, well above the 25-percent requirement. In addition, each project needs to be at least 75% forested, comply with Federal appraisal standards and complete a multi-resource forest management plan.
For more information on the Forest Legacy Program go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/cooperativeforestry/programs/loa/flp.shtml