DEC announces additional forestry cost share grants
By Jennifer Patterson
There is now $850,000 in funding available in the third round of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s “Regenerate NY” Forestry Cost Share Grant Program.
Designed to assist private landowners in growing the next generation of forests, the DEC said the program is crucial to help create and maintain New York’s woods, which mitigate climate change, provide wildlife habitat, protect air and water quality, and supply an important renewable resource.
“New York’s forests are under continued pressure from development, competition from invasive species, an overabundance of white-tailed deer, and the effects of climate change,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Investing in the establishment and resiliency of our forests is a critical component for ensuring the continued ecosystem services that trees provide.”
Regenerate NY is funded by New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund and managed by the DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests.
Private landowners planning to restore or establish five or more acres of forestland in New York State can apply for grant awards ranging from the minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000, with a required 25 percent match.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, planting trees, soil scarification, removing competing vegetation that would interfere with seedling establishment and growth, and installation of deer fencing.
Applicants must work with a forester or a qualified natural resource professional to develop their project. Up to two applications may be submitted per applicant, provided the applications are for separate properties.
“Efforts to support and grow private natural and working forest lands are a key climate resilience strategy,” said New York State Forester Fiona Watt. “Regenerate NY gives a vital boost to expand and restore private forests by promoting forest regeneration and ecosystem health in the face of challenges from invasive species, soil disturbance and climate change.”
In December 2022, legislation was passed in New York setting the goal to support and contribute to national efforts to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. land and water by 2030. The law promotes biodiversity and preserves New York’s wildlife, forests and clean water sources, which are essential to the state’s overall health and economy.
Applications for Regenerate NY can be submitted through the NYS Grants Gateway and will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Oct. 6, or until funds are depleted, whichever comes first. Applicants need to establish an account in the Grants Gateway system at https://grantsmanagement.ny.gov/apply-grant.
The DEC will hold a webinar for interested applicants at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 24. For information, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/119950.html.