California Forest Legacy Program 2024

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



The purpose of the Forest Legacy Program is to protect environmentally important forest land threatened with conversion to non-forest uses. 

Under this competitive grant program, CAL FIRE purchases or accepts donations of conservation easements or fee title of productive forest lands to encourage their long-term conservation. 



Eligibility: This program is entirely voluntary. Eligible properties include those with working forest and rangelands, where the property is managed for the production of forest products and traditional forest uses are maintained. Landowners who wish to participate may sell or transfer particular rights, such as the right to develop the property or to allow public access, while retaining ownership of the property and the right to use it in any way consistent with the terms of the easement and management plan.

Project Selection: Priority is given to lands that can be effectively protected and managed and that have important scenic, recreational, timber, riparian, fish and wildlife, threatened and endangered species, and other cultural and environmental values. CAL FIRE regularly partners with other funding agencies to select high value landscapes for conservation easement projects.

All projects are evaluated on six scoring criteria:

Importance – Does the land provide important economic, habitat, watershed, water supply, recreational, scenic, historical/cultural benefits?

Strategic Value – How does the property relate strategically to other properties adjacent or in close proximity to it?

Threat – How is the property threatened by development or conversion to other uses?

Readiness – To what degree has due diligence been completed?

Active Forest Management/Public Access – Is the property actively managed and will the project include public access?

Donated Matching Funds – Does the project include a donation or match funding?


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit

See the Forest Legacy Program Grant Guidelines 2024 for specific eligibility regarding: 

Eligible Participants - Landowners

Eligible Applicants 

Eligible Conservation Easement Holders

Eligible Conservation Easement 

Eligible Lands 

Necessary Eligible Land Characteristics 

Eligible Geographies:

The area eligible for funding is non-federal forest lands as defined in 14 CCR §1571.

The area eligible for funding must be at least partially within or adjacent to a Forest Legacy Area. (Please see Appendix D of the Grant Guidelines for the Map of the Forest Legacy Area).

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
September 2024
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
4 – 7
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

Funding to conserve working forests is provided through the Budget Act 2023.  Administered by CAL FIRE’s Forest Legacy program, this critical funding works to ensure that forests are safeguarded for future generations while also aiding the state in meeting critical climate and carbon goals.

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
Kevin Kiniery, 1-559-281-8479,