PA Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) Grant

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Pennsylvania


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Pennsylvania

Location of residency: Pennsylvania

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Overview:

Healthy Forests Reserve Program

The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) is a voluntary program to assist landowners in restoring, enhancing, and protecting forestland resources on private lands through permanent easements, 30-year easements, and 10-year cost-share agreements. The program objectives are to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act; improve plant and animal biodiversity; and enhance carbon sequestration.

In Pennsylvania, HFRP funding will be utilized to protect and improve critical habitat for the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), through the acquisition of conservation easements and/or cost share agreements supported with habitat improvement through the implementation of selected conservation practices and supporting activities. 

Funding

HFRP contracts are awarded to applicants with the highest rankings until funds are exhausted. 

Permanent easements: 

  • Landowners will receive 100% of the easement value of enrolled land
  • Landowners will receive 100% of the average cost for approved HFRP practices

30-Year easements: 

  • Landowners will receive 75% of the easement value of enrolled land
  • Landowners will receive 75% of the average cost for approved HFRP practices

10-Year restoration agreements: 

  • Landowners will receive 50% of the average cost for approved HFRP practices

Easement value will be determined by completing an appraisal for easement property. 

HFRP practices were developed by NRCS in cooperation with the PA NRCS HFRP partners. 

HFRP practices

  • Early Successional Habitat Management
  • Riparian Forest Buffer
  • Tree/Shrub Establishment
  • Restoration of Rare and Declining Habitats
  • Forest Stand Improvement
  • Use Exclusion

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

Eligibility:

  • Who is Eligible to Apply?
    • Owners of private forest land are eligible to enroll in the Healthy Forests Reserve Program in Pennsylvania.
    • The land must be capable of supporting Indiana bat habitat, and must be located in a county where known Indiana bat hibernacula and maternity colonies exist. 
    • Easement applicants must be able to convey clear title to the land.
    • In addition, the landowner must provide the following documentation so NRCS can determine if the landowner is eligible to participate in the program: 
      • Copy of deed or other documentation showing that the landowner has title to the land. 

Preferences:

  • Ranking Criteria: The HFRP ranking criteria for Pennsylvania was developed in consultation with the State Technical Committee and Federal, State and local wildlife agencies and organizations.
    • The HFRP ranking includes criteria on proximity to bat hibernacula, size and fragmentation of offered acres, connectivity, proximity to riparian areas, biodiversity, invasive species, and availability of snags.
    • Applications are evaluated and awarded points utilizing the ranking criteria.