AR Forest Legacy Program

Arkansas Agriculture Department


Grant amount: Up to US $7,000,000

Anticipated deadline: Jul 31, 2019

Applicant type: Indigenous Group College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Arkansas: Ashley County, Baxter County, Benton County, Boone County, Bradley County Expand all

Location of residency: Arkansas

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Overview:

AR Forest Legacy Program

The purpose of the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is to protect forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. The protection is accomplished through fee simple title or conservation easement purchases. The conservation easement allows the seller to retain the right to manage the forest and sell timber while protecting the forest from conversion to non-forest uses. For these purchases both the seller and buyer must be willing to make the transaction. The Forest Legacy Program provides federal funding for up to 75 percent of the cost of conservation easements or fee acquisition.

Prompted primarily by threats to northeastern forests, the program, established in the 1990 Farm Bill, was initially restricted to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington State, but is now potentially open to any state with threatened forest land. Arkansas became a participating state on October 1, 2004. Governor Mike Huckabee appointed the Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) as the Lead Agency to administer the FLP in Arkansas.

Forest Legacy Assistance

The Forest Legacy Program provides federal funds for:

  • Fee acquisition.  
  • Purchase of conservation easements.
  • Surveys, title work, and other activities to facilitate donations of land or easements for FLP purposes.
  • State FLP planning and administration.

Although FLP funds may be used for of either conservation easements or fee title purchase, nationwide the program has focused heavily on conservation easements as states have shown the most interest in protecting conservation values while also maintaining economic uses including timber harvesting. However, the Arkansas Forest Legacy program favors fee simple title purchases because it reduces monitoring and administrative issues.

After the landowner completes an Forest Legacy Application, a proposal is prepared and submitted to the SFSCC for prioritization/approval. The proposed project is ranked according to criteria established in the AON. The SFSCC will then recommend proposed tract(s) for submission to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The AFC will submit a maximum of 3 proposals per submission cycle to the USDA Forest Service to be competitively ranked against other states’ projects nationwide and then be considered for funding in the President’s Budget. The projects may not exceed $10 million in total cost or $7 million for individual projects. The proposed project(s) are ranked against other states’ projects according to environmental importance, threatened per the Arkansas AON definition of threatened, strategic: connects with other protected lands, and project readiness. The highest ranked proposals are included in the President’s Annual Budget. Congress then determines/approves the final allocation of funds for the proposals.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • To be eligible for the Forest Legacy Program, proposed tract(s) must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:
    • Be available for conservation easement or fee simple sale by willing seller(s). 
    • Lie within the Forest Legacy Areas
    • Be environmentally important forest areas that can be effectively protected and managed which have important forest values such as forest based economies, water quality, ground water recharge potential, wildlife, biological diversity/integrity of landscapes, connection to existing forested conservation areas, aesthetics, geological values, cultural resources, educational, and recreational values. 
    • Be threatened by present or future conversion to non-forest uses as viewed by the state. 
    • Be a priority of the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee and the Arkansas Forestry Commission. 
    • The seller(s) must secure 25% cost share for the proposed project as described in the Cost Share section