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Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program - Community Forest Program (CFP)

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and Tribes for
Activities to Conserve Forested Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Forest Service

Deadline Date:

01/11/21 Receipt


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Grants to USA and Territories nonprofit organizations, local government agencies, and tribes for activities to conserve forestlands. Applicants must discuss their proposal with program staff prior to applying. Funding is intended to support projects involving private forests under threat of conversion to non-forest purposes, which offer recreational opportunities and public access, protect wildlife habitat and water supplies, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products.

acquire and protect

contact staff prior to applying.

The Community Forest Program (CFP) is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests that provide community benefits through fee simple acquisition of private forest land.

To be eligible, land must be private forest land that is:

  •  Threatened by conversion to non-forest use
  •  Not held in trust by the United States
  •  That provides defined community benefits
  •  That is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested.

Program Basics:

  •  Full fee title acquisition is required. Conservation easements are not eligible.
  •  Community Forests can be owned by local governments, tribal governments, and qualified nonprofit entities.
  •  Public access is required for Community Forest Program projects.
  •  Lands acquired through the program are actively managed in accordance with a community forest plan to provide community benefits.

For eligible costs, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177342

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual grant applications may not exceed $600,000, which does not include technical assistance requests.

Term of Contract:

Grants must start within the fiscal year that the project was awarded funding (10/1 – 9/30).

The initial grant period for CFP grants will be two years. If there is a need, the grant may be extended up to five years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Community Forest Program Eligible Entities include:

- Local governments: Any municipal government, county government, or other local government with jurisdiction over local land use decisions.
- Indian Tribes: Federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, as defined by Section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (U.S.C. 450b).
- Qualified nonprofit organizations: Consistent with Section 170(h) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and existing primarily for one or more of the following conservation purposes:
(1) The preservation of land areas for outdoor recreation by, or for the education of, the general public,
(2) The protection of a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, or plants, or similar ecosystem,
(3) The preservation of open space (including farmland and forest land) where such preservation is for the scenic enjoyment of the general public, or
(4) The preservation of a historically important land area or certified historic structure

The CFP applies to eligible entities within any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the territories and possessions of the United States.

Individuals are not eligible to receive funds through this program.

For land eligibility, see

For ineligible costs, see

Pre-Application Information:

Interested local government and nonprofit applicants must submit applications to the State Forester. Tribal applicants must submit applications to the appropriate Tribal government official.

All local governments and qualified nonprofit organizations’ applications must be submitted to the State Forester where the property is located by January 11th, 2021. All Tribal applications must be submitted to the equivalent Tribal officials by January 11th, 2021. All applications, either hardcopy or electronic, must be received by State Foresters or Tribal governments by the deadline date. Applications may be submitted either electronically or hardcopy to the appropriate official. All applicants must also send an email to the Forest Service to confirm an application has been submitted to the State Forester or equivalent Tribal official for funding consideration. State Foresters or Tribal government officials must forward applications to the appropriate Forest Service Regional office or International Institute of Tropical Forestry by February 8th, 2021.

If you are interested in applying, contact your CFP Regional Contact.

Applicants are encouraged to contact and work with the Forest Service Region or International Institute of Tropical Forestry, and State Forester or equivalent Tribal government official when developing their proposal. Applicants must consult with the State Forester and equivalent Tribal government official prior to requesting technical assistance for a project.

All applicants shall include a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in their application. In addition, all prospective awardees shall be registered in the System for Award Management prior to award,

Timeline and Application Process:

- Sept-Oct: RFP published in Federal Register
- Jan: Applications due to State foresters or equivalent Tribal government officials
- Feb.: State Forester / Tribal Government official forwards CFP applications to Forest Service Region/Area/II TF
- March: Forest Service Region/Area/II TF submits eligible CFP applications for national consideration
- April/May: National CFP Panel considers and ranks project applications
- May-June: Project selections announced; Forest Service Region/Area/II TF begins working on grant forms with successful applicants

All applicants must demonstrate a 50 percent match of the total project cost.

For more information about the program:

Grant forms:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you are interested in applying, contact your CFP Regional Contact at

To email questions or comments, and to confirm submission of the application, contact

For questions, contact:
Scott Stewart, Program Coordinator
(202) 465-5038

Nausheen Iqbal

National Association of State Foresters
444 N. Capitol Street NW
Suite 540
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 624-5415

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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