Forest Management Practices Application Procedures

GENERAL: Before beginning your application for funding from the Common Waters Fund you should review the program eligibility criteria, funding categories, application instructions, project selection criteria, eligible practice types, and frequently asked questions. You should also check the map to determine if your property is located within a Common Waters Fund Priority Funding Area. Currently, only properties located within Priority Funding Areas are eligible for funding. Alternatively, you can visit or call the Local Coordinator in your county for information about the program and assistance to help you determine if you are eligible.

If you think you are eligible for funding through the program after reviewing the Common Waters website, follow the instructions below to complete the application process for funding. If you have further questions about your eligibility, you may contact the Common Waters Fund Program Coordinator, Stephanie Pendergrass: 202-797-6580,

All applicants are encouraged to have a Forest Stewardship Plan or other written management plan completed for their property at the time of application for management practice funding. Applicants with written plans will be more likely to receive funding for management practices than those without written plans, and those with Forest Stewardship Plans will receive higher rankings than those without state-approved plans. The Common Waters Fund provides funding for the full cost of Forest Stewardship Plans – see the Forest Stewardship Plan application for more information. Applicants receiving funding for a Forest Stewardship Plan may immediately apply for funding to implement forest management practices contained in their stewardship plan upon its completion.

1. Download the application for Forest Management Practices funding. You do not submit your application at this time, but downloading the application allows you to assemble the needed materials to complete the application.

2. Make an appointment to visit the Common Waters Fund County Coordinator in your county (optional but encouraged).

  • Pike County, PA: Pike County Conservation District
  • Wayne County, PA: Wayne County Conservation District
  • Monroe County, PA: Monroe County Conservation District
  • Sullivan, Orange, and Delaware Counties, NY: Catskill Forest Association or Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation District (Sullivan or Orange Counties only)
  • Sussex County, NJ: Sussex County Soil Conservation District
  • Warren County, NJ: Warren County Soil Conservation District

3. All applicants must self-certify that they meet the eligibility requirements of the USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). These requirements are explained in the EQIP Eligibility Self-certification Form, which should be signed and submitted along with the application form. (Some landowners may need to follow up with their local Farm Services Agency (FSA) office to confirm that they are in compliance with all of the requirements).

4. Meet with the County Coordinator to complete your application. If you are working with a forester to carry out your project, ideally he/she will also attend the meeting with the County Coordinator. The County Coordinator will answer any questions you have about the program, help you complete your application, and accept your application submittal (optional; Applications can be mailed to Common Waters Fund, P.O. Box 1029, Milford, PA 18337.)

5. Depending on the practices you are applying for, a site visit by a Common Waters Fund Forester may also be required to verify the need for the practice on your property. Site visits are not required for applications submitted with the signature of a professional forester.

6. Applications received between February 2011 and May 2, 2011 will be evaluated in May and you will be notified of your status in early June 2011. Applications received after May 2, 2011 will be evaluated on a quarterly basis; you should be notified if your application has been approved for funding within a month of the application deadline. If your application is not approved, your application fee will be returned to you.

7. Once you are notified that your application has been approved for funding, you will receive a contract agreement to sign and return agreeing that you will carry out the work contained in your application. You or your contract forester can begin work to implement practices immediately upon signing the contract. Work must be completed within one year of signing the contract, unless an exception is granted at the time of contract signing.

8. You will receive your contract payment once the practices have been implemented and approved. When you or your contractor(s) have completed the work, email or call the Common Waters Fund contact listed in your contract. The representative will conduct a site visit to verify the implementation of the contracted management practices and notify the Common Waters Fund contract officer that the work is complete. You should receive your check within one month of project verification and approval by the Common Waters Fund.