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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 Federal Programs webpage.

State Wildlife Grants

The federal State Wildlife Grants Program is our nation's core program for preventing wildlife from becoming endangered. It funds the state wildlife action plans and 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:

Community Forest Program

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 jad.daley@tpl.org or call (202) 543.7552 ex.35.

More information:

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. More

Online Catalog of Federal Funding for Watershed Protection

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection online as an easy to use, searchable website. The site provides information for watershed practitioners and others on 84 Federal funding sources that may be available to help fund various watershed-related projects. View the 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.

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Advocates Alerts

February 12: The House successfully voted 279-137, demonstrating a supermajority (67%) of support, on H.R. 644, a package of charitable incentives including the conservation tax incentive.Now we need your help in the Senate to secure co-sponsors! Sens. Heller and Stabenow have requested land trusts’ assistance in asking senators to cosponsor S. 330, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Learn more »

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Congress wrestles with tax breaks for open space

July 29, 2014 | Poughkeepsie Journal | NY

House passes Gerlach conservation tax break bill, now up to Senate

July 18, 2014 | The Mercury News | Pottstown, PA

The Time is Now for Congress to Act on Conservation

July 15, 2014 | Politico | Washington, D.C.

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