The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for funding from the Rhode Island Forest Health Works Project for fiscal year 2023. The project is a Regional Conservation Partnership Program agreement between the conservation service, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Division of Forest Environment and ten partners.

The project will provide financial and technical assistance to help conserve forest lands and their related benefits through two distinct paths for land protection. One path is for entity-held easements to help private and tribal landowners in partnership with land trusts or other entities like state and local governments, to protect forestlands by placing conservation easements. The other path is for U.S.-held easements to allow individual eligible landowners to enter into producer contracts with NRCS to place conservation easements on their land to protect critical forestlands.

For information on applying for entity-held easements, contact Joanne Riccitelli at joanne.riccitelli@gmail.com. Those wishing to find out about U.S.-held easements can contact Marina Capraro at Marina.Capraro@usda.gov.

Applications will be ranked according to the project goals of protecting forest land, water quality, and wildlife habitat. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 17.

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