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Beef Up Your Buffers: Grants Available

Thursday January 23rd, 2020
Need help installing riparian buffers? The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is accepting applications thorugh its Riparian Forest Buffers program. The deadline for applications is April 22.
Eligible activities include landowner outreach, buffer design, site preparation and buffer installation, plant materials and tree shelters, and short term maintenance (within the four-year grant period).
Projects can propose conventional or multifunctional (income-producing) riparian forest buffers.
Multifunctional buffers refer to a riparian forest buffer that includes both native riparian forested trees and shrubs as well as harvested products such as berries, woody florals, biomass, etc.
The multifunctional buffer concept was designed to appeal to a broader set of landowners, provide greater program flexibility, address long-term maintenance issues, and allow landowners to reap a modest income from their buffers.
Additional specifics about the concept are provided on DCNR's buffer webpage.
All buffers must include a minimum 15-foot-wide no-harvest zone next to the streambank of native tree and shrub species (zone 1) with additional acreage dedicated to conventional or multifunctional buffer plant species (zones 2 and 3).
Applicants are strongly encouraged to implement an average buffer width of at least 35 feet. 
Applicants who undertake a buffer project must be willing to enter into a landowner agreement with each participating landowner for a minimum of 25 years. The agreement will address maintenance requirements among other considerations.
The minimum grant award is $50,000, and a 50/50 match is required. DCNR reserves the right to negotiate with applicants on the final award amount, acreage, and scope of work.
DCNR service foresters will be available to provide technical assistance and advice on communications and outreach efforts, buffer design and species selection, and maintenance practices; they can also participate in partnerships and watershed-level projects.
Visit DCNR’s Buffer webpage for more information on forest buffers, including multifunctional buffers.
For more information and details on how to apply, visit DCNR’s Grant Opportunities webpage.