Eligible Uses of Funds
Grants may be used to acquire permanent conservation easements and
fee interest in land. In exceptional cases, grants may be applied to
cover transactional costs, including cost of appraisals, surveys, title,
and environmental assessments. The Fund may also provide short-term
low-interest loans for projects that require bridge financing and that
meet the grant criteria. Grant funds cannot be used for endowments,
stewardship costs, baseline documentation reports, staff time, buildings
or other non-capital project expenses.
OSI staff and the Fund’s Advisory Committee review applications
against the Fund’s criteria and goals. Once OSI has approved a grant, we
will provide the grantee with a checklist of items required for OSI to
prepare a grant agreement. When all required information and documents
are received, OSI will forward a grant agreement to the grantee. If
applicable, the grantee must provide documents pertaining to each
project phase and match parcel. OSI will release funds at the time the
transaction closes. Projects must close within 18 months of OSI’s grant
Conservation Easement Standards
Stewardship of Resilient Landscape Fund grant projects must be
consistent with the goals of the Fund: maintaining the land’s resilience
to climate change and conserving native biodiversity and ecosystem
processes. Prior to submitting a grant proposal, applicants should
review OSI’s standards for fee land stewardship and for conservation
easement (CE) terms (download here).
Grant Amount and Matching Requirement
Although there is no minimum or maximum grant size, awards are typically between $100,000 and $400,000.
OSI will give strong preference to projects with a 5:1 or greater
financial match. OSI will fund projects with less than 5:1 match only in
exceptional circumstances. Prior to grant distribution, grantees must
provide a detailed accounting of all matching sources.
The following qualify as matching funds:
- Public funds (federal, state and local) and private funds from
individuals and foundations used for the acquisition of fee interest or a
conservation easement on the subject property or on eligible match
- The value of a donated conservation easement or bargain sale on the subject property.
- The value of eligible match properties (see below).
- Transaction and other acquisition costs, including
appraisals, surveys, environmental assessments, title exams and
insurance, recording fees, transfer and real estate taxes, property
carrying costs and fees for outside counsel.
Match Property Eligibility
To be eligible as match, property must 1) be adjacent or proximate to
the subject property, 2) meet the Fund’s criteria, 3) be part of a
larger plan that includes conservation of the match and subject
properties, and 4) close prior to the closing of the subject property
but not more than one year before date of application. In addition, to
determine eligibility of match parcels OSI will consider whether the
match and the subject properties lie in the same watershed, geophysical
setting, matrix forest block, natural community and/or State Wildlife
Action Plan priority area.
The following do not qualify as matching funds:
- Ecological or land restoration dollars
- Stewardship endowments and land management expenses
Staff time, travel or expenses