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Home > Programs > Bureau of Natural Resources > Division of Forest Environment > Forest Legacy Program


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FOREST LEGACY PROGRAM

The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is a partnership between the USDA, Forest Service and RI DEM to maintain traditional uses of forestland by providing funding for the purchase of conservation easements or outright title purchases. Conservation easements restrict development and require sustainable forestry practices while retaining private ownership of land.

Forests provide significant values and benefits to society including forest products, wildlife habitat, clean air and water, recreational opportunities and aesthetics. The traditional values and benefits provided by Rhode Island's forests are threatened by a decline in the management of privately owned forest land, fragmentation of land into smaller parcels or the conversion of land to other uses .

Eligibility

  • Must be within the designated Forest Legacy Area. (See Map)
  • Must be a parcel of more than 25 acres
  • Compatible non-forest (pasture, cropland, non-forest wetlands) may comprise a maximum of 25% of the property
  • Priority is given to forest land that exhibits exceptional resource values, that has been shown to be threatened with conversion to non-forest use, and that is available at below fair market value.
Key Concepts

  • FLP complements private, federal and state programs focusing on conservation of forest resources. State and local partners select priority tracts in cooperation with the Forest Service
  • When conservation easements (the preferred method in RI) are used, the land will remain privately owned. A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement (it's recorded with the property deed) that spells out the permitted uses of the property. The Conservation easement will remain in perpetuity (even if the land is sold).
  • The tracts remain "working forests" and are actively managed under the guidance of a forest management plan. The forest management plan is prepared by a forester, in consultation with the landowner, and are required to be updated every ten years to reflect changing conditions in the forest.
  • Applications are accepted year-round and are prioritized by the State's Forest Legacy Committee. The project selection process is highly competitive on a national level and only the top one or two projects are forwarded to the Forest Service for funding consideration. All funding is subject to Congressional discretion.
If you are interested in more information about this program, please contact:
Gregg J. Cassidy, Rhode Island Forest Legacy Program Coordinator at (401) 222-2776, Ext. 4310.

For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer
rev. 8/22/13