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forest legacy program

Private Forests, Public Benefits

Privately-owned forests provide water, recreational opportunities, timber and other forest products, as well as habitat for fish and wildlife. However, as forests become fragmented by roads or converted to development, the benefits they provide can be compromised or lost altogether.

Cooperative Forestry Act Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Private Forest Owners

When most people think of forested lands in our country what comes to mind are public wild lands like the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon or the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. But the reality is most forests in America, nearly sixty percent, are owned by private landowners who very much rely on these lands for income that helps to fuel the economic health of rural communities.

Knitting Together Treasured Landscapes with the Forest Legacy Program

Did you know the Forest Legacy Program is the only federal grant program focused on the permanent protection of important private forestland, conserving over 2.5 million acres to date?

This incentive-based and voluntary program managed by the U.S. Forest Service conserves working forests and environmental benefits for communities. It does this through land acquisition and conveyance to state management as well as through the establishment of conservation easements that allow families to maintain ownership of their land.

25 Years Later, Forest Conservation Programs Still Help Keep Our Working Forests Thriving And Working

Patrick Leahy is Vermont’s senior U.S. senator and led in authoring forest conservation programs that he first included in the 1990 Farm Bill, when he chaired the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  Robert Bonnie is USDA’s undersecretary for natural resources and environment.  This week they headed a commemoration on Capitol Hill of this year’s 25th anniversary of the Forest Legacy Program and other initiatives that help states and communities conserve forest land.  Wayne Maloney, Office of Communications

Twenty-five years ago, the Senate’s 1990 Leahy-Lugar Farm Bill authorized the creation of three pivotal forestry programs that today are a resounding success.  The Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship and Urban and Cooperative Forestry Programs help private and state forest landowners keep their forests healthy.  That in turn supports tens of thousands of jobs, benefiting rural and urban communities across the nation.  This week we joined in a celebration in the Capitol Hill Visitors Center marking this milestone.

The Forest Legacy Program: 25 Years of Keeping Working Forests Working

Two million four hundred seventy thousand acres -- equivalent in size to two Delawares -- are protected through the Forest Legacy Program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Enacted through the 1990 Farm Bill’s Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, this voluntary program has proved popular and crucial to aiding states in meeting their forest conservation goals.

The first Forest Legacy project was located in Vermont, the 1660-acre Cow Mountain Pond property. Today, 53 states and territories participate. The map below shows program accomplishments through 2014.

Protecting Working Forests

The U.S. Forest Service recently announced grants totaling $52.2 million for 18 conservation and working lands projects across the U.S. this year.  The landscapes are some of the country’s most beautiful spaces and will now be protected for future generations to enjoy.

Since 1990, the Forest Legacy Program has protected more than 2.2 million acres through public-private partnership using federal and leveraged funds of more than $562 million. We work with private landowners, states and conservation groups to promote sustainable, working forests.

Forest Legacy program reaches 2-million acre milestone in protecting threatened private forests

The USDA Forest Service recently reached a milestone of protecting more than 2 million acres of private forests threatened by development.  The Forest Service’s Northeastern Area helped the agency reach the milestone when the state of Ohio purchased a 15,000-acre property as the new Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest approximately 90 miles south of Columbus.

USDA Joins the Effort to Help Americans Get Outdoors

By Phil Sammon, Forest Service, Public Affairs Specialist

Today, President Barack Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, hosted the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, a gathering of leaders from communities across the country who are working to protect their outdoor spaces.