Forest Conservation Program Updated:06/2013

On November 7, 2006, the people of California enacted the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, commonly referred to as Proposition 84. As part of the people's initiative, the Act designated the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) as the lead agency for carrying out a grant program for forest conservation and protection projects.

Purpose and Authority

Pursuant to the provisions of Pubic Resources Code Section 75055 (a), the goal of the grant program is to promote the ecological integrity and economic stability of California's diverse native forests for all their public benefits through forest conservation, preservation and restoration of productive managed forest lands, forest reserve areas, redwood forests and other forest types, including the conservation of water resources and natural habitat for native fish and wildlife and plants found on these lands.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles are designed to facilitate the solicitation of applications that will achieve forest conservation efforts in a manner that promotes ecological integrity and economic stability. Applicants are encouraged to use the principles as benchmarks in completing the project application as they will be used as part of the evaluation and ranking process.

  • Working forests/productive managed forestlands shall be the primary emphasis of the Forest Conservation Program.
  • Forest reserve areas are an important component of California's diverse native forests and shall be part of the Forest Conservation Program.
  • Each project must promote the restoration and/or the maintenance of the ecological integrity and economic stability of the property in the context of the surrounding landscape and regional economy.
  • The project application must articulate in sufficient detail how the proposed project relates to an existing regional, state or local public or private planning process if applicable, and address the local priority and ecological need.
  • Restoration efforts shall contribute toward the ecological integrity and economic stability of the native forest. Restoration projects must demonstrate the long-term protection of the restoration effort and be tied to the forest structure and sustainability. A long-term agreement to manage the restoration effort must coincide with the useful life of the improvements and restoration practices.
  • Projects will be evaluated based on a process that ranks and prioritizes applications based on their ability to sufficiently describe how the project contributes toward the program goal, guidelines and selection criteria.
  • Future management activities and or restoration investment should be from committed or clearly identified and articulated funding sources to be considered part of the project.
  • Overall accomplishment of the program goal can best be achieved through projects that provide the greatest economic efficiency by using the best available tool. Applicants must clearly state the objectives of the project and describe how the project will achieve the stated objectives.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include a willing landowner, a local governmental entity, special district, resource conservation district, joint powers authority, nonprofit organization (501(c)(3), or state agency. The WCB strongly encourages applicants to develop partnerships that share an interest in the project necessary to leverage technical and management skills, as well as fiscal resources.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for funding consideration from the Forest Conservation Program, all proposed projects must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Acquisition of any interest in real property (fee title or conservation easement) must be from a willing seller supported by an appraisal that utilizes private market based assumptions consistent with State and if applicable, Federal appraisal standards. The interest must be held by an eligible entity. Special attention shall be paid to the assumptions of development value of un-entitled raw land.
  2. The project must meet the goals of the Forest Conservation Program and comply with the Purpose and Guiding Principles of the Program.
  3. The project must protect and/or restore native forests on the property.
  4. Restoration efforts must demonstrate a long-term commitment and agreement to manage and protect the ecological integrity of the forest consistent with the goals and Guiding Principles of the program. Landowners will be required to sign a long-term agreement to manage the restoration project for the useful life of the restoration effort.

Administrative Process

Submitting Applications

Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis. All proposals will be evaluated by WCB staff and an independent team of Resource Agency professionals (with biological and forestry expertise).

Project proposals will be reviewed for compliance with program requirements and then ranked and prioritized against defined program guidelines and selection criteria. If the project merits further Board consideration, applicants will be notified as appropriate. Prior to submitting an application, applicants are encouraged to meet with staff from the WCB to discuss the proposed project.

If the proposed project demonstrates consistency with the program requirements, meets the program guidelines and selection criteria, and sufficient money exists to fund the request, the project may be scheduled for Board consideration. Applicants will be notified as to when the project will be considered by the Board. For questions regarding the Forest Conservation Program, call (916) 445-8448

All applications should be mailed to:

Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation Board
1807 13th Street, Suite 103
Sacramento, California 95811

Contact Forest Conservation Program


Contact Forest Conservation Program

Wildlife Conservation Board
1807 13th Street
Suite 103
Sacramento, CA  95811
Phone: (916) 445-8448
Fax: (916) 323-0280

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • California