Under the Common Waters Fund, financial assistance is available for costs associated with the establishment of both donated and purchased conservation easements.
In the event that a landowner is donating or selling a conservation easement to a qualified land trust, the Common Waters Fund will consider applications to cover certain expenses associated with the establishment of the conservation easement. Conservation easements must be held by a 501(c)3 land trust to qualify for funding from this program. 90% or more of the easement area will be restricted from development in perpetuity. All conservation easements, donated or purchased, established with funding assistance from the Common Waters Fund must allow sustainable forest management.
There is a strong preference for applications for grants to support projects that are in the final stages of development (e.g. cost recovery and/or completion of the final steps of an easement project). Grants may also be provided for projects that are in earlier stages of development if funding will allow the project to move forward when it otherwise would not.
The Common Waters Fund reserves the right to request changes or additions to the Deed of Conservation Easement for each application, and must approve the final Deed of Conservation Easement.