Other Federal Programs
Creative land trusts have used a wide array of federal programs to support their conservation work. In the weeks ahead, we'll be expanding this section to include many more programs; in the meantime, we encourage you to explore the helpful information in Trust For Public Land's Conservation Almanac and .
North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) provides matching grants to organizations and individuals for the acquisition, restoration, and enhancement of wetland ecosystems for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (of which Alliance Executive Vice President Mary Pope Hutson is a member), funding is available as small grants up to $75,000 and standard grants up to $1 million. NAWCA's authorization expired in September 2012, but it continues to be funded through the appropriations process. Funding fell to a recent low of $33.8 million in Fiscal Year 2013. President Obama has requested an increase to $39.4 million in FY 2014.
State Wildlife Grants
The federal State Wildlife Grants Program is our nation's core program for preventing wildlife from becoming endangered. It funds theand provides annual funding for state wildlife agencies to implement these plans. Many states re-grant these funds to partners like land trusts and the plans themselves are a useful tool for land trusts to prioritize acquisition and stewardship decisions.
The Land Trust Alliance and more than 300 land trusts are members of the Teaming with Wildlife Coalition working to secure increased funding for wildlife. More information from:
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, provides 50-50 matching grants for land trusts, local governments and Indian tribes to purchase threatened forests for local ownership and development. Note that this program is separate from "community forestry bonds" a tax proposal, which we also support.
The first round of grants were awarded in summer 2012 using funding from FY2012 and prior years. A total of 49 projects sought $14.5 million, demonstrating the strength of locally-led conservation. Recently, 47 local, state and national organizations signed a letter to the Chief of the US Forest Service and Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment urging them to include at least $4 million for the Program in the President’s FY2014 budget request. For more information, or to sign on to the House and Senate versions going out in January, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 543.7552 ex.35.
- Community Forest Program Fact Sheet
- Sample Community Forest Program Projects
- U.S. Forest Service Fact Sheet on Community Forest Program
Federal Highway Bill Funding
The 2005 highway bill (SAFETEA-LU) provides funding for several programs of interest to land trusts. In particular, since 1992 the Transportation Enhancements program has provided over $10 billion for projects such as: acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites, Conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails and environmental mitigation of highways.
Online Catalog of Federal Funding for Watershed Protection
Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection (updated 7/30/07).
News on Federal Programs from the Trust for Public Land
Check the Trust for Public Land's policy & legislation webpage for a helpful summary of other federal funding programs and archives of Washington Watch, a newsletter with timely information and highlights on public policy issues and federal funding opportunities that relate to land conservation. TPL's Conservation Almanac also includes a list of federal funding programs.