Forest Legacy Projects

This guide will provide you information to learn more about becoming a Forest Legacy project. A project must fall within one of the identified Forest Legacy Areas. The Forest Legacy Program may fund up to 75% of project costs including acquisition, appraisal, title, survey and other costs. The remaining 25% of project costs must be non-federal funds. This can be value donated by the landowner, other non-federal grant funding, or non-federal government funding. Application instructions can be found below in the Forest Legacy RFP.

Table of Contents

IRA Funding – Request for Proposal Information

The first round of IRA Project applications are due to the state FLP Coordinator by October 23, 2023.  Funding for successful projects in the first round should be available in Spring of 2024.  Applications for a second round will be due in early spring.

The Massachusetts Forest Legacy Program is now accepting project proposals for Inflation Reduction Act funding consideration.  The three project types that will be accepted are:

  1. Large Landscape Projects, maximum request $50 million
  2. State-Tribal Partnership Projects, maximum request $50 million
  3. Strategic Small-Tract Projects, maximum request $1.5 million.

Each of these project proposals must be for land held in a single ownership that meets the FLP core-criteria as well as the special emphasis criteria.  Please read the IRA Project Scoring Guidance carefully to see the specific requirements for each project type.

The first round of IRA Project applications are due to the state FLP Coordinator by October 23, 2023.  Funding for successful projects in the first round should be available in Spring of 2024.  Applications for a second round will be due in early spring.

LWCF Funding – Request for Proposal Information

Project applications are accepted annually in July

The Massachusetts Forest Legacy Program is now accepting project proposals for consideration in the Federal Fiscal Year 2025 appropriation process. Project proposals submitted in previous years, but not funded, must be submitted again and comply with this announcement for consideration in FY 2025. Funding should be available for successful project proposals in the spring of 2025.

Forest Legacy project proposals must also be entered into the "Forest Legacy Information System" (FLIS) no later than July 10, 2023 for project proposals to be considered complete and eligible for review and ranking by the Massachusetts Forest Legacy Committee. 

Additional Resources for LWCF Funding – Request for Proposal Information

Application Instruction

Application must be submitted with all of the following supporting documentation to be considered complete.

Cover Letter containing the following information:

  • Project Partner’s Contact Information: name, organization/agency, address, phone, email
  • Is this a multi-State project? If so, explain and list state(s) involved. Include letter of support from partner(s) in other state(s).
  • Description of the project and how the project proposal will meet the criteria in the “Massachusetts Assessment of Need” and protect the public benefits and environmental values identified for the specific “Forest Legacy Area”.
  • The source(s) of the required cost-share funds equal to 25% of the total project cost, what they will be used for, and if those funds have been committed by the funding source.

Interest Owner Letter of Commitment: Letter from State Agency, Municipality, or Federal Government (on appropriate letterhead and with authorized original signature) stating that they agree to hold the Forest Legacy Title Interests (Fee and / or CR).

Landowner Participation Letter: Letter signed by the landowner(s) with original signatures of all legal owners stating the following information:

The Project Partner has explained the requirements of the Forest Legacy Program, reviewed the Forest Legacy Program Conservation Restriction / Deed Template with the landowner, and the landowner agrees to include their property for consideration in the application process.

  • If the interest to be acquired is a Conservation Restriction, include a statement that the project partner has explained:
    • What a Forest Stewardship Plan is and the requirement to have a Forest Stewardship Plan filed with DCR and approved by the State Forester.
    • That one of the scoring criteria for the Forest Legacy Program is that the project increases dispersed pedestrian public access. The letter must state if the landowner has agreed to full, restricted, or no public access on the CR property.

Budget Information Worksheet: The budget information must also be entered into FLIS. All numbers in the budget must be rounded to the nearest $5,000.

Boundary / Shapefile(s): For each tract, a shapefile with the boundary of the land to be protected must be included. Bundle all files associated with your tract boundary into a .zip file folder.

Photos: Up to 4 Photos of the project can be included in the application.

Letters of Support: Letters of support, with original signatures, from all supporting parties listed in FLIS. Letters from U.S. and State representatives, State and federal wildlife and conservation agencies, municipal governments, and local conservation organizations are encouraged.

Additional Resources for Application Instruction

Project Proposal Requirements

All project proposals must: 

  • Meet the goals of the Massachusetts Forest Legacy Program. 
  • Identify any federal lands or federal investments the project complements. 
  • Comment to what extent public access will be provided (Full, None, Restricted) and describe the type of public access that will be allowed or an explanation of why public access will be restricted or prohibited. 
  • Name the “Project” using a term that will not identify the landowner’s name.  
  • Identify each “Tract” in priority order. Do not use landowner’s name in FLIS. Identify tracts as: Tract 1, Tract 2, Tract 3, etc. 
  • Round the budget up to the nearest $5,000.00. Including the “Total Tract Cost” (“Tract Cost” in FLIS), the “Forest Legacy Program Funding Request” (“FLP Funding” in FLIS), and the “Cost Share Information Amount” (“Non-Federal Cost-Share” in FLIS) for each Tract on the Tract Information Worksheet. 
  • If it is a multiple year proposal (phased project), indicate which phase of the project is being considered this year, how many phases have been completed, and whether additional phases will be necessary if this phase is not fully funded. Individual phases will compete each year as standalone projects against all other proposed projects. 
  • If it is a new proposal, indicate whether the project can be phased and which tracts would make up the phases. (Be advised that by stating the project may NOT be phased there is the risk that the project prioritization panel will opt not to fund the project at all.)

How to Submit Your Application

Please mail the cover letter, interest owner letter of commitment, landowner participation letter, and letters of support to the addresses below.  Please be certain to include original signatures.

Send one paper copy and one electronic copy of the proposal and supporting documentation to the Forest Legacy Program Coordinator:
Lindsay Nystrom
Forest Legacy Program
Department of Conservation & Recreation
355 West Boylston Street Clinton, MA 01510
lindsay.nystrom@mass.gov

 

Additional Resources for How to Submit Your Application

Other Information - Appraisals

Other Information - Baseline and Monitoring

This section contains important information on baseline and monitoring requirements.

Additional Resources for Other Information - Baseline and Monitoring

Other Information - Survey and Title Examinations

This section contains information relative to surveys and title examinations.

Additional Resources for Other Information - Survey and Title Examinations

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