The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:
Please see below for information about the next opportunity to apply for a Community Forest and Open Space Conservation grant. For clarity, this is separate from the Community & Urban Forestry Program. The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program is for projects that establish community forests through the fee-simple acquisition of private forest land. See below and links for more information.
Included in this document you can find the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Community Forest Program (CFP) posted on the CFP Website on Aug. 18, 2023, for Fiscal Year 2024 CFP project consideration.
The Forest Service will host informational webinars about the Fiscal Year 2024 Request for Applications on Sept. 20, 2023, from 2–3 p.m. ET and on Oct. 11, 2023, from 2–3:30 p.m. ET. Additional details, including registration, will be provided on the CFP website soon.
From the 2024 CFP Request for Applications: Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact and work with the appropriate Forest Service Region/Institute contact during the application process before submission.
Individual grant applications may not exceed $600,000, which does not include technical assistance requests requested by the State.
Below are links to helpful information if you are interested in applying for CFP funding:
- National Community Forest and Open Space Conservation website
- Community Forest Program Request for Applications for FY2024
- UPDATED 2024 Community Forest Program Application Guidance
- UPDATED 2024 Community Forest Program Scoring Guidance – Updated for 2023, Public Participation is now 10 out of 40 possible points. Previously Public Participation was 5 out of 35 possible points.
- CFP Map Recommendations and Examples
- The CFP Final Revised Rule – revised April 2021
- UPDATED CFP Frequently Asked Questions
- State Foresters Contact Information
In addition to the above links also attached:
- Summary document of the CFP application process for 2024 and listed links from this email
- Opportunity for alternative funding source if the forest land is in The GLRI Template Area of the Great Lakes Watershed
- 2024 CFP Request for Applications
Please share with anyone who might be interested in creating a new or expanding an existing Community Forest.
Applications are due to the Appropriate State Forester or equivalent Tribal official, depending on the applying entity, by Jan. 12, 2024.
The State Forester or Tribal official must forward ALL applications and materials received to the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region CFP Program Manager Neal Bungard by Feb. 9, 2024, after completing any review as described in the CFP rule §230.3 Application process, part (d.) The State Forester or equivalent official of the Tribe will forward all applications to the Forest Service and, as time and resources allow, provide a review of each application to help the Forest Service determine: (1) That the applicant is an eligible entity; (2) That the land is eligible; (3) That the proposed project has not been submitted for funding consideration under the Forest Legacy Program; and (4) Whether the project contributes to a landscape conservation initiative.
Additionally, in the forwarding of applications, the State or Tribe will provide any technical assistance funding need requests that have been coordinated with the applicant. Technical assistance is only awarded if a project is funded in 2024 in the State or with the Tribe.
Grants for any selected projects will not be awarded until late summer 2023 at the earliest. Due to project ranking and selection and grant requirements, the earliest a project could be acquired if selected for funding would be January 2025. Lands acquired before the grant is fully awarded/executed are not eligible for CFP funding and cannot be used as nonfederal match under any circumstances. The grant requires that the grant recipient notify and provide all necessary due-diligence documentation to regional Forest Service program managers and allow at least 60 days for review and acceptance. Lands acquired less than 60 days from when the grant is awarded on selected projects are not eligible for CFP funding.
If you are a past recipient of CFP funds, you are eligible to apply. If you have previously submitted a project for CFP consideration and it was not selected, you have the option to apply again. If you do that, please make note of the updated scoring guidance for 2024 projects.
Please contact the Eastern Region CFP Program Manager Neal Bungard at 603-833-3287 or email if you have any questions about the CFP application process or would like to discuss a potential project.
For more information on the Community Forest Program, including information on past funded projects, please see the National CFP website.