The Forest Legacy Program (FLP)

The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) works to protect forestlands that are threatened by conversion to development. The state forest service will buy the development rights for the forestland while the landowner maintains the right to ownership. In exchange for payment, the landowner agrees to use sustainable forestry practices.

Land Use Forestland
Focus Easement program, Cost-share payments
Resource Concern Soil erosion, Water quality, Wildlife habitat
Purpose The environmental purpose is to encourage the protection of privately owned forestlands from intensive development.
Landowner Benefits Landowners will receive revenue from the sale of the permanent conservation easement but still maintain the right to own, use, and enjoy their property. Cost-share payments can be received for developing a “Multiple Resource Management Plan” (forest stewardship plan). Some landowners will also enjoy reduced property taxes as a result of the conservation easement.
Description The program’s intent is to protect working forests from development. The definition of “working forest” is based on management of the forest resource for timber, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics and soil and water conservation.

The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) helps the states develop and carry out their forest conservation plans. It encourages and supports the acquisition of conservation easements without removing the property from private ownership. The Forest Legacy Program (FLP)can pay up to 75% of the appraised value while the remaining 25% must come from another non-federal source.

Practices Landowners who sell a conservation easement are still responsible for managing the property.
Costs to Landowner Costs to the landowner are variable and may include some of the “due diligence” activities associated with such real estate transactions (surveys and appraisals). Landowners selling a conservation easement are still responsible for managing the property.
Eligibility All private landowners of forestlands are eligible.
Contract The easements are permanent.
Other Notes The easements “run with the land” in perpetuity so that even if the land is purchased by another individual or is inherited by a family member, the restrictions of the easement remain in force. The landowners must prepare a “Multiple Resource Management Plan” as part of the conservation easement acquisition.
Landowner Initiation
  • Contact your state forester or conservation district office where you own land.
  • Ask about the Forest Legacy Program (FLP).