How the Community Forest Program Works
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program) of the Forest Service offers a unique opportunity for communities to acquire and conserve forests that provide public access and recreational opportunities, protect vital water supplies and wildlife habitat, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products.
- Full fee title acquisition is required. Conservation easements are not eligible.
- Community Forests can be owned by local governments, tribal governments, and qualified nonprofit entities.
- The program pays up to 50% of the project costs and requires a 50% non-federal match.
- Public access is required for Community Forest Program projects.
- Lands acquired through the program are actively managed in accordance with a community forest plan to provide community benefits.
How to Apply
The Forest Service publishes an annual request for applications for the Community Forest Program (CFP) in the Federal Register. The Request for Applications for Fiscal Year 2023 is now available. Applications are due to State Foresters or equivalent Tribal officials by March 31, 2023. Applications are encouraged from across the country. If you are interested in applying, contact your CFP Regional Contact. For complete information on the program and application process, see the Final Rule and the Community Forest Road Map, a resource for potential program applicants or grant recipients.
NEW: The informational webinar held on Tuesday, March 7 was recorded and may be viewed here: Community Forest Program Informational Webinar. Webinar slides (.pdf, 381KB) are also available.
- NEW! Federal Register: Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (.pdf, 232KB)
- NEW! Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Microsoft Word .docx, 45KB)
- Community Forest Road Map (.pdf, 11MB)
- Scoring Guidance (.pdf, 148KB)
- Application Guidance (.pdf, 287KB)
- Map Recommendations and Examples (.pdf, 8MB)
- State Foresters Contact Information
- FAQs (.pdf, 266KB)
- Why U.S. community forests are taking root (NEW)
- Community Forests: A path to prosperity and connection
- Forest Service assists in continuing agroforestry in Hawaii
- Continued Success in the Northeastern Area Community Forest Program
Funding and Accomplishments
- FY22 Funded Projects
- FY21 Funded Projects
- FY20 Funded Projects
- FY19 Funded Projects
- FY18 Funded Projects
- FY17 Funded Projects
- FY16 Funded Projects
Regulations and Policies
- Final Rule
- Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act (.pdf, 551KB)
Program Guidelines and Performance
Community Forest Program Accomplishment Map
Community Forest Program Progress as of March 1, 2022 (.pdf, 2MB)
Forest Legacy Program Manager & Community Forest Program Manager
Email questions or comments to SM.FS.CFP@usda.gov