Land Protection - Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Protecting Your Family Land:
Programs, Funding, and Organizations that can help!
Aerial Photography by Leslie Sweetnam
Federal Funding Programs
• Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRLPP)
• Forest Legacy Program (FLP)
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRLPP)
Organization/Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture - NRCS
Program Purpose: Funding for the purchase of conservation restrictions
Success in CT: In 2009 this program had protected 70 farms and over 7,400-acres including Valley Farm in East
Woodstock in 2006.
Eligibility Requirements:
Entity Criteria: Any state or local unit of government, or non-profit organization can apply for FRPP funds by
demonstrating a commitment to long-term conservation of agriculture land, a capability to acquire,
manage, and enforce easements, sufficient staff dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship, and
the availability of funds – (Requires a 50-50 match with exceptions for a percentage of donated land).
Parcel Criteria: Must be privately owned, contain at least 50% prime, unique, statewide, or locally important
farmland, be subject of a pending offer, contain cropland, grassland, pasture land, or forest land that
contributes to the economic viability of an agricultural operation, not include forest land of greater than
two-thirds of the easement, and possess on-site and off-site conditions which will allow the easement to
be effective in achieving the purposes of the program
Application Deadline: Ongoing
Contact Information: Joyce Purcell
FRPP Program Manager USDA-NRCS
344 Merrow Road, Suite A
Tolland, CT 06084-3917
Phone: (860) 871-4028
[email protected]
Forest Legacy Program (FLP)
Organization/Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service
Program Purpose: Funding for up to 75% of the cost of purchasing a conservation restriction on forest land and on
rare occasions for the purchase of forest land outright
Success in CT: Through August of 2012 there had been 30 tracts totaling 8,125 acres protected in CT. The
Stonehouse Brook parcels in Chaplin and Ashford were approved in 2004 and funded in 2007.
Eligibility Requirements:
Property must:
• Be within a designated Forest Legacy Area
• Be threatened by development or conversion to non-forest
• Be a working forest, in that it protects water quality, provides habitat, forest products, opportunities for
recreation, and/or other public benefits
• Abut or be in close proximity to already existing protected land
• Have some unique quality, such as a viewshed or a known population of rare, threatened or endangered species
• Have a Forest Stewardship Plan
Application Deadline: Ongoing
Contact Information:
Helene Hochholzer
Forest Legacy Coordinator, CT DEEP
Division of Forestry
Tel: 860-424-3634
Fax: 860-424-4070
Email: [email protected]
State Funding Programs
• Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition
Grant Program
• Farmland Preservation Program
• Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust
• Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program
Organization/Agency: CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
Program Purpose: Up to 65% (75% for projects in ‘distressed municipalities or targeted investment
communities’) of either fair market value of development rights or purchase price for a conservation
Success in CT: From 1998 through 2010 this grant program has funded $102,517,477 to support the purchase
of 380+ properties, preserving 67,000 acres in 125 communities.
Eligibility Requirements:
Entity Criteria: Municipalities, Non-profit land conservation organizations, and Water Companies are eligible
for funding
Property Criteria: Property must be one or more of the following: valuable for recreation, forestry, fishing,
conservation of wildlife or natural resources, a prime natural feature of the state's landscape, habitat for
native plant or animal species listed as threatened, endangered or of special concern, a relatively
undisturbed outstanding example of a native ecological community which is uncommon, important for
enhancing and conserving water quality, valuable for preserving local agricultural heritage, or eligible to
be classified as Class I or Class II watershed land (Water Companies only). Also, Public access is required.
Application Deadline: Announced every year
Contact Information: David Stygar
Land Acquisition CT DEEP
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127
(860) 424-3016
[email protected]
Farmland Preservation Program
Organization/Agency: CT Department of Agriculture (DOAG)
Program Purpose: Funding for the state to pay up to 100% of the value of development rights for
farmland that will help secure the future of agriculture in CT
Success in CT: 283 farms totaling 37,262 acres preserved through program so far (April 2011)
Eligibility Requirements:
Entity Criteria: Landowners and municipalities (if have policy in support of farmland preservation, a
farmland preservation plan, and a fund for purchasing development rights) can apply
Property Criteria: Property must be an active farm operation, include a minimum of 30 acres of
cropland or be adjacent to a larger parcel, meet minimum program criteria, and meet FRPP
requirements if federal funding will be used as part of the sale. Priority is given to land with a high
percentage of prime and important agricultural soils and land in close proximity to other active
Application Deadline: Ongoing
Contact Information: J. Joseph Dippel, Director
Farmland Preservation Program, CT DOAG
165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 713-2511
Fax: (860) 713-2514
[email protected]
Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program
Organization/Agency: CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
Program Purpose: Funding for the state to acquire open space property
Success in CT: Over 35,000 acres protected with about $ 190,000,000 spent (2008)
Eligibility Requirements:
Property Criteria: (should possess one or more of the following attributes):
• It should provide high quality recreation opportunities, either active or passive.
• It should be a resource offering conservation to a unique, natural area or protection of a species
considered threatened, endangered, or of special concern.
• It should correspond to an example of a prime, natural feature of the Connecticut landscape
• Also, property must be for sale on the open market or the property owner must have expressed
interest in the current or future sale or donation of the property.
Application Deadline: Ongoing
Contact Information: Jackie Albert
Division of Land Acquisitions and Management
CT DEEP, 79 Elm Street,
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
(860) 424-3016
[email protected]
Recreational Trail Program (RTP)
Organization/Agency: CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
Program Purpose: Funding for everything related to recreational trails including acquisition
of land or easements for a trail, or for trail corridors.
Success in CT: About 1 million given to organizations for various trail projects every year
Eligibility Requirements:
• Grants may be made to any private nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state
departments and tribal governments.
• Requires 80/20 match
Application Deadline: End of March, but may shift
Contact Information:
Laurie Giannotti
Trails and Greenways Coordinator
CT DEEP, 79 Elm Street,
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
(860) 424-3578
[email protected]
Other Funding Opportunities
• Municipal Open Space Funding / Bonding
• Community / Family Foundations
• Conservation Loan Programs
Municipal Open Space Funding / Bonding
• CT General Statute 7-131r enables municipalities to create a
dedicated fund for the purpose of land acquisition
– Not every town has established a fund
– Money sources differ among towns –Examples include:
• Annual line item budget
• Annual mill rate allocation
• Income from municipal forestry
• Fee-in-lieu of open space
• Gifts and bequests
• Some towns also allocate municipal bonding money
– Bonding can be approved prior to purchase or for specific properties
– Can also be used for matching grants, to acquire development rights or to
purchase land
Community / Family Foundations
• There are foundations that serve New
England, Connecticut, and local communities
throughout the state
• They provide funding for many projects
sometimes including land protection and open
space acquisition
• Examples Include:
– Community Foundation of Eastern CT – Eastern CT
– Fields Pond Foundation – Southern NE & NY
– Sweet Water Trust – New England and Upstate NY
Conservation Loan Programs
• Norcross Wildlife Foundation -
– Makes no interest bridge loans to land trusts, sanctuaries and small
foundations to help them acquire land they have prioritized for
conservation. Loans of up to $250,000 are available for up to one full
– The subject property must possess wildlife habitat of some tangible
– Applicants must be private, non-profit organizations as determined by
the Internal Revenue Service.
• The Conservation Fund -
– Works with private landowners to secure conservation easements on
lands with high conservation value.
– Provide bridge financing and real estate expertise
– Particular importance on “working lands” or forests, farms and ranches
being sustainably, actively managed.
Partner Organizations
Connecticut Forest and Park Association
Wolf Den Land Trust
Joshua’s Trust
Connecticut Farmland Trust
Nature Conservancy
Wyndham Land Trust
Northern Connecticut Land Trust
New Roxbury Land Trust
Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA)
Mission: Dedicated to protecting forests, parks, walking
trails, and open spaces for future generations by
connecting people to the land.
Area of Focus: Statewide
Land Protection: Manage the 825 mile Blue-Blazed
Hiking Trail system, own about 350 acres, and hold
conservation restrictions on about 1700 acres and 7
miles of trail. Focus its land conservation efforts on
the protection of working forests and trails
Contact: Lindsay Michel – Land Conservation Director
at [email protected] or (860) 346-8733
Wolf Den Land Trust
Mission: The goal of the Wolf Den Land Trust is to
preserve diverse habitats and open space for
future generations, and to demonstrate healthy
stewardship activities on this land.
Area of Focus: Work in northeastern CT
Land Protection: Currently own 503 acres and hold
two conservation restrictions
Contact: Rob Viani – President at 860.974.3942
Joshua’s Trust
Mission: The trust is designed to supplement the
open space and historic conservation efforts of
federal, state, and local governments.
Area of Focus: Work in all of Windham County
and most of Tolland County
Land Protection: Currently, protecting over 4,000
acres in fee ownership and conservation
Contact: Stephanie Clark – Executive Director at
[email protected]
Connecticut Farmland Trust
Mission: The Connecticut Farmland Trust’s (CFT) purpose is to
preserve and protect land for agricultural use, to enhance
agricultural diversity, economic development, environmental
quality and rural character, to promote education for farmland
preservation, and to assist landowners and others in
protecting agricultural land.
Area of Focus: Statewide
Land Protection: Currently, hold agricultural conservation
easements that protect 2,096 acres of farmland on 26 family
farms around the state and have assisted partners in the
preservation of 789 additional acres.
Contact: Elisabeth Moore – Director of Conservation at
[email protected] or (860) 247-0202
Nature Conservancy
Mission: The mission of The Nature Conservancy
is to conserve the lands and waters on which
all life depends.
Area of Focus: Work statewide and throughout
the country
Land Protection: The CT Chapter has protected
more than 50,000 acres and maintains 62 local
nature preserves
Contact: Sarah Pellegrino - Land Protection and
Strategies Specialist at (203) 568-6293
Wyndham Land Trust
Mission: The mission of the Wyndham Land Trust is
to conserve the natural resources of Northeast
Connecticut - the water courses, swamps,
woodlands, and open spaces, the plant and animal
life therein, and the scenic natural and historic
Area of Focus: Work in Windham County
Land Protection: Own 41 parcels in ten towns
totaling almost 1800 acres and hold conservation
restrictions on another 700 acres
Contact: WLT at (860) 963-2090 or
[email protected]
Northern Connecticut Land Trust
Mission: The Mission of the Trust is to preserve the
natural resources of the northern Connecticut
region including agricultural land and other
ecologically important open space.
Area of Focus: Work in Ellington, Enfield, East
Windsor, Somers, Stafford, Tolland and Vernon
Land Protection: Have protected over 1000 acres
Contact: NCLT at [email protected]
New Roxbury Land Trust
Mission: Created to preserve open space;
protect agricultural lands, forests, natural
resources and wildlife habitats
Area of Focus: Works in Woodstock, Eastford,
Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson and Union
Land Protection: Currently owns 130 acres
Thank you!

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