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Healthy Forests Reserve Program

The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) helps landowners restore, enhance and protect forestland resources on private lands through easements and financial assistance. Through HRFP, landowners promote the recovery of endangered or threatened species, improve plant and animal biodiversity and enhance carbon sequestration.

What's New in HFRP?

The new HFRP expands the eligibility of acreage owned by Indian tribes.

Benefits

HFRP provides landowners with 10-year restoration agreements and 30-year or permanent easements for specific conservation actions. For acreage owned by an Indian tribe, there is an additional enrollment option of a 30-year contract. Some landowners may avoid regulatory restrictions under the Endangered Species Act by restoring or improving habitat on their land for a specified period of time.

Eligibility

HFRP applicants must provide proof of ownership, or an operator (tenant) must provide written concurrence from the landowner of tenancy for the period of the HFRP restoration agreement in order to be eligible.
Land enrolled in HFRP easements must be privately owned or owned by Indian tribes and restore, enhance or measurably increase the recovery of threatened or endangered species, improve biological diversity or increase carbon storage.

How to Apply

Some of the following require Adobe Acrobat

Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.

Download NRCS conservation program application (267KB)

HFRP Projects

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through program contracts or easement agreements. Assistance is delivered in accordance with the rules of EQIP, CSP, ACEP and HFRP; and in certain areas the Watershed Operations and Flood Prevention Program.

The Long Island Sound Watershed RCPP was selected as a National Project
Lead partner: Connecticut Council on Soil and Water Conservation
About the project: Excess nutrients have been identified as the primary driver of hypoxic conditions in Long Island Sound and are also impacting upland water resources within the watershed, which encompasses areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This project will develop a comprehensive, whole-farm management certainty program for farmers in the area and use both working lands and easement programs to improve soil health and nutrient management, establish community resiliency areas with a focus on enhancing riparian areas, and institute a land protection program to protect agricultural and forestry areas.

More information

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted

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