What It Funds

Forest Stewardship Plans
Forest owners can apply for funds to have a forester write a new Forest Stewardship Plan for their property. If you have an existing written management plan, you can receive funds to upgrade the plan so that it meets Common Waters and state Forest Stewardship Program standards. The Common Waters Fund will reimburse you for approximately 100% of the cost of a new or upgraded plan based on your state program’s cost-share rates. There is a small application fee to help cover program administration costs.

Forest Management Practices
Landowners can apply for funds to offset the costs of implementing certain forest management practices that will improve forest health and protect water quality. The Common Waters Fund pays set rates for eligible practices. These rates are meant to cover approximately 75% of the costs. The maximum grant award per landowner per year is $20,000.

Permanent Protection
Conservation easements allow a landowner to permanently protect their land for future generations. The Common Waters Fund will provide financial assistance to qualified 501(C)3 land trusts to assist with expenses related to placing a conservation easement on a property. Although every agreement is unique and tailored to the landowner’s goals and the property characteristics, the conservation easement must allow sustainable forest management.

Portable Timber Bridges
Logging operators can apply for funds to defray the cost of construction or purchase of portable timber/skid bridges to minimize erosion and sedimentation on streams in priority areas. The portable bridge is to be used for temporary stream crossings during harvesting activities, instead of installing a culvert or fording the stream. The Common Waters Fund will pay for 75% of the cost of bridge construction or purchase, up to a maximum of $5,000. Grant recipients must attend a workshop on bridge construction and stream crossing Best Management Practices (BMPs). The bridge must be used on at least two harvests in the priority counties between June 2011 and September 2012.