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Applicants sought for conservation program

May 26, 2014 - 6:17am

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Legacy Land Conservation Program is seeking applicants for grants from the State Land Conservation Fund to support the protection, through acquisition, of lands having value as a resource to the state.

The Legacy Land Conservation Program provides an annual source of funding for the acquisition and conservation of watersheds; coastal areas, beaches, and ocean access; habitat protection; cultural and historic sites; recreational and public hunting areas; parks; natural areas; agricultural production; and open spaces and scenic resources. State agencies, county agencies, and nonprofit land conservation organizations may apply.

Proposed projects may include acquisition of fee title or conservation easements. County agencies and nonprofit project applicants must be able to provide at least 25 percent of the total project costs.

The 2014-15 grant program may provide up to $4.5 million in grants. Funds are from the state’s land conveyance tax; 10 percent of these funds are set aside annually for the purpose of acquiring lands to protect Hawaii’s unique and valuable resources.

The Legacy Land Conservation Program has awarded funds for the protection of more than 20,000 acres since 2006, leveraging about two matching federal, private and county dollars for every state dollar spent.

Applications will be reviewed by the Legacy Land Conservation Commission. Projects are subject to the approval of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, consultation with the Senate president and House speaker, review by the attorney general, and the approval of the governor.

Starting June 1, the forms and instructions for the 2014-15 grant cycle will be available at Applicants must submit Agency Consultation Forms by July 1. Grant applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. Sept.15. For more information, call 586-0921.

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