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Public Funding

Donations simply aren’t realistic for every landowner, so programs that support purchases and bargain sales of land and easements are essential to the protection of special places in our communities.  Please join us in supporting increased and dedicated funding for conservation, along with program changes to better leverage public resources through local partnerships and the generosity of private landowners.

As pressure grows to cut the federal budget, the Alliance is partnering with the LWCF Coalition, AVCRP Coalition, and others to greatly expand its work on appropriations (fact sheet). Spending on land, water, ocean and wildlife programs comprises just 1.26% of the federal budget and has grown just 2% over the last 30 years, yet a new study shows that these programs support 9.4 million jobs and over $1 trillion in economic activity. We need your help to defend these critical investments from disproportionate cuts -- NOW is the time to tell your legislators which federal programs you rely on and how they benefit your community.

Funding Advocates Updates

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See our NEW summary table and archived FundingAdvocates. Looking for Farm Bill Updates? Click here.

Fact Sheets

For public officials:

For land trusts:

America's Great Outdoors

The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative is a key opportunity to place private conservation, land trusts and the policy tools we need at the center of the Obama administration’s vision for the future of conservation.

Farm Bill Programs

Investing more than a billion dollars in conservation programs each year, the Farm Bill now far exceeds other federal sources of conservation funding.  Learn more, and help us improve and expand easement programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.

LWCF and Forest Legacy

The Land and Water Conservation Fund and Forest Legacy are important sources of funding for federal and state acquisitions of land and easements.  Help us secure dedicated funding and make these programs more available to land trusts.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)

Land trusts have used NAWCA grants to acquire, restore and enhance millions of acres of wetland ecosystems for the benefit of migratory birds and other wildlife.

Other Federal Programs

Dozens of other federal programs have supported land trust projects over the years.  We’re working to gather and share creative examples so more land trusts can seize these opportunities.

State and Local Funding

While we remain focused on the federal level, there is little question that state and local governments have provided the majority of conservation funding.   Learn more about the tools and partnerships available to support funding campaigns.

Summary Table of Recent Funding Levels for Key Conservation Programs

The following are recent funding levels for the programs we follow most closely. All amounts are in millions, rounded to the nearest $100k. Please let us know if you're looking for additional details. Federal budgeting is an extremely complex process, so please let us know if you think we've gotten any of these numbers wrong. Email policy@lta.org

Click here for a more detailed chart, going back to Fiscal Year 2008


ProgramFY11 EnactedFY12 Enacted FY13 Enacted (Sequestered) FY14 Obama Budget

FY14 Enacted

FY15 Obama Budget
FY15 House Proposal
FY15 Enacted FY16
Obama Budget
Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (neé Farm and Ranch lands Protection Program (FRPP)) $175.0 $150.0 $150.0 $139.0 $150.0 $296.06
$3947 $4507
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) $78.6 $86.7 4 $?4 $6.34 $296.06
X6 X6
Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)1 $300.6 $322.9 $305.6 $6006 $306.1 $350.0
$306.1 $400
LWCF Federal Acquisition2 $176.9 $199.5 $189.2 $368.4 $179.6 $248.0
$177.5 $235.8
LWCF State Grants $40.0 $45.0 $42.7 $60.0 $48.1 $48.0
$49.1 $70
Forest Legacy Program (FLP) $52.9 $53.4 $50.6 $84.8 $51.0 $53.0
$53.0 $61
Cooperative Endangered Species Fund (Section 6) Land Acquisition3 $31.0 $25.0 $23.7 $84.0 $27.4 $27.4
$50.0 $50
North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) $37.4 $35.6 $33.8 $39.4 $34.1 $34.1
$34.1 $34.1
State Wildlife Grants (SWG) $61.9 $61.4 $58.2 $61.3 $58.7 $53.0
$58.7 $70
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) $300.0 $300.0 $284.5 $300.0 $300.0 $300
$300 $250
Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) $11.05 $3.0 $2.8 $3.0 $0 $0
$0 $0


1 These LWCF totals include the italicized programs below: LWCF Federal acquisition, LWCF State Grants, Forest Legacy Program, and Section 6 Land Acquisition.

2 This subtotal includes acquisition funding directed to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and National Park Service (NPS), along with funding for the Office of Valuation Services (OVS). For breakdowns by agency and project, see our LWCF & Forest Legacy page.

3 Most of these numbers reflect only the portion of Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation grants derived from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for land acquisition. President Obama's budget requests have drawn all Cooperative Endangered Species funding from LWCF, and thus should be compared to the program totals.

4 Spending for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is governed by increasing or decreasing the program's acreage cap. Dollar figures for current or future years are estimates in cases where the committee provides a summary table. The FY14 bill provides $6.7 million for monitoring and stewardship of current easements, but does not provide the authority to enroll new acres. The original proposed House and Senate FY14 bills were silent on GRP funding levels.

5 CELCP has received some of it's funding from GLRI in recent years: $1 m in FY14 and further GLRI funds are expected in FY15. Thus there may be some double-counting in these items.

6 The Farm Bill passed in February 2014 merged FRPP and GRP into the new Agricultural Land Easements Program (ALE). This program is part of the larger Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP), which also contains GRP. The funding allocation for ACEP does not distinguish between ALE and the Wetlands Program.

7 The FY 15 Appropriations bill did not impose any cuts to the authorized level of $425 million in the 2014 Farm Bill. However, sequestration to mandatory programs is 7.3%, for a reduction to $394 million.

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