Potential Funding Programs for Land Conservation

Hawaii Legacy Land Conservation Program (DLNR)

The LLCP oversees the distribution of monies allocated to the Land Conservation Fund (LCF) from state conveyance taxes (currently the LCF receives 10% of the state conveyance taxes).

Monies in the LCF may be used to purchase fee title or conservation easements over lands “having value as a resource to the state.” Awards are given to those projects that are deemed most critical for conservation protection.

This is determined based on careful review by the Legacy Land Conservation Commission, a consultation with the Senate President and Speaker of the House, and the approval of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Governor. Funds available for yearly awards are generally in the range of 4 – 5 million dollars.

Forest Stewardship Program (DOFAW)

The Hawaii Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) provides technical advice and financial assistance on a cost-share basis to promote the stewardship, enhancement, conservation and restoration of Hawaii’s forests. The FSP focuses on the following objectives: timber productivity, native ecosystem health and biodiversity, watershed quality, wildlife habitat and recreation.

To be eligible for the FSP, applicants must: Own at least five contiguous acres of forested or formerly forested land; have a lease for a minimum of 10 years on at least five contiguous acres of forested or formerly forested land and intend to actively manage at least five acres to enhance forest resource values for both private and public benefit. Individuals, joint owners, private groups, associations, leaseholders, or corporations are eligible. Lands that qualify as potential natural area reserves are not eligible.

Contact Information:

Cooperative Resource Management Forester, Sheri Mann
sheri.s.mann@hawaii.gov
(808) 587-4172

Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
Honolulu, HI 96813

Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (USDA, NRCS)

Who May Apply for Funding:

The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with state, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement.

To qualify, farmland must: be part of a pending offer from a state, tribe, or local farmland protection program; be privately owned; have a conservation plan for highly erodible land; be large enough to sustain agricultural production; be accessible to markets for what the land produces; have adequate infrastructure and agricultural support services; and have surrounding parcels of land that can support long-term agricultural production. Depending on funding availability, proposals must be submitted by the eligible entities to the appropriate NRCS state office during the application window.

Contact Information:

Michael Whitt
Resource Conservationist
Pacific Islands
(808) 541-2600 ext 153

U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 4-118 Honolulu, HI 96850-0050

Other Natural Resources Conservation Services Programs

In addition to FRPP, NRCS (or the Farm Service Agency) administers a number of other conservation-related programs, for example, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Conservation Security Program (CSP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), the Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP), the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).  (Check out the Pacific Islands Programs here).

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