FLP Working to Save Forest Lands

FLP Working to Save Forest Lands

USDA providing funding for program in 33 states.

USDA has awarded grants totaling $72 million dollars to permanently protect private forestland in 33 states and U.S. territories through the Forest Legacy Program. The awards will help the program reach a total of over two million permanently protected acres across the country. The Forest Legacy Program works directly with states to protect privately-owned forests from conversion to housing development or other uses that would threaten the conservation, management and restoration of the nation's forests.

The program promotes voluntary land conservation through the principle of "willing buyer, willing seller." Program lands are protected through conservation easements, which allow landowners to retain ownership, or through property acquisition by states.

In making the announcement, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed out that the threats facing the nation's forests do not recognize property boundaries, and there needs to be cooperation across landscapes to protect working forests that supply clean and abundant water, shelter wildlife, and help us mitigate and adapt to climate change. He said the grants will help the Forest Legacy Program protect working forests in states around the country that are in danger of becoming fragmented or disappearing altogether.

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