Cost share and incentive programs designed for forest landowners are valuable ways for landowners to accomplish conservation work on their land. The program offerings are subject to change over time; to stay abreast, check websites, landowner groups, and newsletters often.
The main federal agencies that currently provide funding for specific management activities on private lands are the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Services Agency (FSA).
The NRCS provides funding for forest plans and forest improvement work through its Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). They also provide funding for wildlife habitat, and road and trail improvement to protect or improve water quality. A special funding opportunity was made available in late 2022 through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) with funding available specifically for improving water quality on privately owned forestland.
Landowners who experience significant damage from storm-related events may qualify for financial assistance through the federal Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP). EFRP is administered through the Farm Services Agency, but there must be significant damage in local areas to trigger EFRP consideration by Farm Services.
Some forest landowners may also qualify for technical assistance on managing lands deemed valuable for wildlife habitat through the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department or US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Landowners who host specific types of recreation trails on their property may qualify for trail corridor management labor from local trail organizations. Contact VT Trails and Greenways or your town conservation commission for organizations who operate in your area.