Compensation available to landowners who protect forests

RBC | Colorado landowners who want to protect environmentally valuable private forest areas that could someday be threatened by development or conversion to other non-forest uses—and who desire to receive monetary compensation in the process—now have the opportunity to submit proposals to protect their forestlands.

The Colorado State Forest Service is accepting Forest Legacy Program proposals from Colorado landowners. The program authorizes the CSFS or U.S. Forest Service to purchase permanent conservation easements on private forestlands to prevent those lands from being converted to non-forest uses.

The application deadline is July 31, 2019, for federal fiscal year 2021 funding, and proposals must be submitted by standard mail.

The purpose of the Colorado Forest Legacy Program is to protect environmentally important private forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. The program provides an opportunity for private landowners to retain ownership and management of their land, while receiving compensation for unrealized development rights.

Forestlands that contain important scenic, cultural, recreation and water resources, including fish and  wildlife habitat and other ecological values, and that support traditional forest uses, will receive priority. Landowners who elect to participate in the program are required to follow a land management plan approved by the CSFS. Activities consistent with the management plan are permitted, including timber harvesting, grazing and recreation activities.

The Colorado State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee will evaluate proposals and recommend to the state forester those proposals that have sufficient merit to forward to the U.S. Forest Service.  Forwarded proposals will then compete at a regional and national level for funding.

For additional information or to obtain an application packet, contact Carolyn Aspelin at 970-491-1869 or carolyn.aspelin@colostate.edu. Applications also are available online at http://csfs.colostate.edu/funding-assistance.

Special to the Herald Times

 

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