DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Opportunities

DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Program

The DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Program provides financial assistance to identify locations in need of riparian forest buffers and to design, establish, monitor, and provide short-term maintenance for those buffers. Applicants are encouraged to include the Multifunctional Buffer Concept in their proposed project.

The DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Program provides reimbursable grants to organizations to establish riparian forest buffers.

  • FAQ: Click to open

  • Program Guidelines: Click to open

  • Eligible Applicants: Local governments in Pennsylvania, non-profits and educational organizations.

  • Eligible Activities:Landowner outreach, buffer design, site preparation and buffer installation, plant materials and tree shelters, and short term maintenance (approximately 3 years). DCNR will consider a variety of forest buffer project types, including conventional riparian forest buffers and multifunctional buffers. The multifunctional buffer concept has been successfully established in many areas across the nation but is a fairly new idea for Pennsylvania. The multifunctional buffer concept was designed to appeal to a broader set of landowners, provide greater program flexibility, address long-term maintenance issues, and allow landowners to reap a modest income from their buffers. Additional specifics about the concept are provided in links below:

    DCNR buffer webpage: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/yourwoods/streambuffers/index.htm

    Multifunctional Stream Buffer Program summary: Click to open

  • Project Requirements: All buffers, whether conventional Help

    A Conventional buffer refers to a vegetated area along a stream including native riparian forested trees and shrubs.

    or multifunctional Help

    Multifunctional buffers refer to a riparian forest buffer that includes both native riparian forested trees and shrubs as well as  harvested products such as berries, woody florals, biomass etc.

    , must include a minimum 15-foot-wide no-harvest zone next to the steambank of native tree and shrub species. Applicants are strongly encouraged to implement an average buffer width of at least 35 feet.

    Applicants who undertake a buffer project must be willing to enter into a landowner agreement with each participating landowner for a minimum of 25 years. The agreement will address maintenance requirements among other considerations.

  • Grant Details: Minimum grant award is $50,000. All grants require a 50/50 match. Match can be cash or non-cash, such as in-kind staff, volunteers, equipment usage, etc. DCNR reserves the right to negotiate with applicants on the final award amount, acreage and scope of work.

    DCNR service foresters will be available to provide technical assistance and advice on communications and outreach efforts, buffer design and species selection, and maintenance practices; they can also participate in partnerships and watershed-level projects.