Community Forests and Open Space Program

Community Forests and Open Space Program

About the Community Forests And Open Space Conservation Program

The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access.

This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land.

Eligible lands for grants funded under this program are private forest that is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to nonforest uses, must not be held in trust by the United States on behalf of any Indian tribe or allotment lands, and if acquired by an eligible entity, must provide defined community benefits under CFP and allow public access.

The Forest Service has published a Request for Applications which can be viewed on the USFS Community Forest Program web page.

Total Community Forest Program funding anticipated for awards is $4.0 million and individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000.

The program will fund up to 50% of the project costs and requires a 50% non-federal match.

All local governments’ and qualified nonprofit organizations’ applications must be submitted to the State Forester of the State where the property is located. To view the Application Requirements, click here.

Forest Service will give priority to applications that maximize the delivery of community benefits as defined by their Project Selection Criteria.

Application deadline is January 15, 2014 for submitting applications to the State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian Tribe.

Applications for CFP projects in Wyoming should be submitted to:

John Crisp, Resource Forester
Wyoming State Forestry Divison
5500 Bishop Blvd.
Cheyenne WY 82002