Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (CFP)

The purpose of CFP is to achieve community benefits by establishing community forests through 50/50 financial assistance competitive grant awards to local governments, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations.

Grant funds are used by successful applicants to acquire and protect private forestlands.

forest benefits are specified in the authorizing statute (16 U.S.C.

2103(d) & 2109(e)) and final rule (36 CFR Part 230), including: economic benefits from sustainable forest management and tourism; environmental benefits from natural resource conservation such as storm water management, clean air and water, and wildlife habitat; forest-based educational programs, model forest stewardship activities, and recreational opportunities.

Public access to the community forests is required and intended to enhance public health and well-being.

In addition, the program authorizes funds to State Foresters and equivalent Indian tribe officials for technical assistance to implement community forest projects.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - None.

Forest Service S&PF, Cooperative Forestry 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Stop Code 1123 Washington, DC 20250.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Forests, Parks And Recreation, Vermont Dept Of $ 2,250   2020-06-292025-05-31
Southeast Land Trust Of New Hampshire $ 485,000   2020-06-192025-04-30
Huntington, Town Of $ 385,000   2020-07-152024-09-21
Clarence, Town Of $ 232,500   2019-09-112024-06-30
Madison Land Conservation Trust $ 462,500   2019-08-262024-04-30
Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy $ 90,000   2019-08-222024-04-30
Town Of Butte Falls $ 400,000   2020-09-232023-12-31
Superior Watershed Partnership $ 600,000   2022-02-252023-11-30
Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, Maine Department Of $ 6,000   2021-07-232023-06-30
First Nations Development Institute $ 65,000   2020-08-312023-06-30

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Landowner participation in the program is voluntary and consists of conveying land to achieve conservation objectives.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Project grants are awarded to local governments, Indian tribes, or nonprofit organizations qualified to acquire land and with the authority to manage land.

Beneficiary Eligibility

No additional information.


No credentials or documentation are required. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Regional/Northeastern Area (NA) /International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) Offices and the State Foresters can be a resource for assistance.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. An annual request for applications will be published in the Federal Register with detailed instructions and updates to application procedures. Applicants will provide a narrative on the project with up to two eight inch by eleven inch maps, the draft community forest plan, and all forms required to process the grant (final rule section 230.7). Documentation of applicant eligibility (final rule section 230.2), information regarding the property, and information regarding the proposed community forest must be included in the application.

Award Procedures

The Forest Service will publish an annual request for applications based on the funding proposed in the President's Budget. The Forest Service will prioritize a national project list and issue grant to eligible applicants based on the amount provided in Congressional appropriations.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, P.L. 95-313 as amended (16 USC 2103d. The final rule for implementation of the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (36 CFR Part 230) was published in the Federal Register in October 2011.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching Requirements: Percent: 50%. Funds reimbursed by the Federal Government may not exceed 50 percent of the total project budget expended by the grantee. The non-Federal share of the match may be in the form of cash, services, or in-kind contribution. This program may use up to 10% of its funds for each fiscal year to provide technical assistance grants. Technical assistance funds do not have a matching requirement and are available to state foresters or equivalent officials of Indian tribes with a funded project in their jurisdiction. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The annual request for applications will describe in greater detail the award assistance length and time phasing. The initial grant period is 2 years and funds are released in accordance with the final rule, including completion of acquisition requirements under section 230.8. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: As determined by the award terms.

Post Assistance Requirements


The Forest Service program manager will conduct monitoring activities to measure performance against established grant objectives.

Grant recipients must provide the Forest Service with a Geographic Information System (GIS) shapefile: a digital, vector-based storage format for storing geometric location and associated attribute information, of CFP project tracts and cost share tracts, if applicable.

Additional requirements under section 230.9 of the final rule also apply.

Cash reports are not applicable.

No progress reports are required.

SF 425 Federal Financial Report will be used to report total program expenditures that clearly reflect the established 50% match.

The Forest Service program manager will conduct monitoring activities to measure performance against established grant objectives.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Access to financial reports shall be provided to Forest Service or its designees as described in the award.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 16 $2,000,000; FY 17 est $2,000,000; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available - Annual funding levels to be determined per Presidential budget request.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000 in program financial assistance. Range and average are to be determined.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None. Forest Service S&PF, Cooperative Forestry 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Stop Code 1123 Washington, DC 20250.

Headquarters Office

Maya Solomon, 1400 Independence Ave SW, MS-1123, Washington, District of Columbia 20850 Phone: 202-205-1376

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The Forest Service will give priority to an application that maximizes the delivery of community benefits through a high degree of public participation; and (1) Type and extent of community benefits provided. Community benefits include: (i) Economic benefits such as timber and non-timber products resulting from sustainable forest management and tourism (ii) Environmental benefits, including clean air and water, stormwater management, and wildlife habitat (iii) Benefits from forest-based experiential learning, including K-12 conservation education programs; vocational education programs in disciplines such as forestry and environmental biology; and environmental education through individual study or voluntary participation in programs offered by organizations such as 4-H, Boy or Girl Scouts, Master Gardeners, etc.(iv) Benefits from serving as replicable models of effective forest stewardship for private landowners (v) Recreational benefits secured through public access, such as hiking, hunting and fishing (2) Extent and nature of community engagement in the establishment and long-term management of the community forest (3) Amount of cost share leveraged (4) Extent to which the community forest contributes to a landscape conservation initiative (5) Extent of due diligence completed on the project, including cost share committed and status of appraisal (6) Likelihood that, unprotected, the property would be converted to nonforest uses (7) Costs to the Federal government (8) Additional considerations as may be outlined in the RFP.

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