WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

Funding Awarded to Protect New York Forests


Some good news for New York’s forests. The Governor announced on Friday that $1.35 million is now available to protect the state’s forestlands. The Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts Grant Program enables eligible, accredited land trusts to apply for up to $350,000 to purchase conservation easements on forested land in New York State for the purpose of protecting these lands and realizing their numerous economic and environmental benefits.

“Investments in forest conservation move New York closer to our bold goal of protecting 30 percent of the state’s lands and water by 2030, which in turn protects wildlife habitat, preserves biodiversity, protects air and water quality, and helps combat the impacts of climate change,” Governor Hochul said. “Supporting these public-private partnerships is crucial to protecting essential forest habitat and advancing our open space protection goals.”

The Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts (FCELT) grants help increase the pace of forest land conservation to protect the vital ecosystem services that forests provide, including helping combat climate change. The grants are administered by the Land Trust Alliance in coordination with the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Funding for the grant program is provided by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a critical resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreation access, water quality improvement, and environmental justice projects. The Governors FY 2025 Executive Budget maintains EPF funding at $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program’s history.

Only land trusts accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission may apply. A 25-percent match is required. Interested applicants must submit an overview of their proposed project by May 10, 2024, as part of the pre-application process. Submitting a full application is by invitation only and those invited to do so will be notified by June 14, 2024. Projects selected for FCELT grants should further goals and/or strategies identified in the New York State Open Space Plan, the New York State Wildlife Action Plan, the New York State Forest Action Plan, and/or other local, regional, or statewide land protection plans. Complete details about this grant opportunity can be found on the FCELT webpage.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.