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Introducing the Forest Legacy 2024 Funded Projects by the USDA Forest Service


The Forest Legacy Program, administered by the USDA Forest Service, is a critical component in the conservation and protection of forests across the United States. With its primary goal of preventing the conversion of private forest land to non-forest uses, the program provides funding to protect environmentally important forest areas, ensuring that they remain productive and intact for future generations.

In the fiscal year 2024, the Forest Legacy Program has funded several projects across the country, each aimed at securing and safeguarding valuable forest lands. These projects cover a wide range of landscapes and ecosystems, reflecting the diversity and importance of forests in the United States. Let's take a closer look at some of the funded projects and their significance in the conservation and preservation of our nation's forests.

Project 1: Protecting Old-Growth Forests in the Pacific Northwest

In the Pacific Northwest, the Forest Legacy Program has allocated funding to protect old-growth forests that are under threat from development and other pressures. These forests, with their towering trees and rich biodiversity, play a crucial role in providing habitat for numerous plant and animal species. The funded project aims to secure conservation easements and acquire land to ensure the long-term protection of these valuable old-growth forests.

By preserving these forests, the project not only supports the ecological health of the region but also contributes to the conservation of rare and endangered species that rely on old-growth habitats. Additionally, the protection of old-growth forests helps maintain the unique beauty and scenic qualities that draw visitors and outdoor enthusiasts to the Pacific Northwest.

Project 2: Conserving Critical Watershed Areas in the Appalachian Mountains

In the Appalachian Mountains, the Forest Legacy Program has directed funding towards the conservation of critical watershed areas. These mountainous regions are not only cherished for their natural beauty but also serve as the source of clean water for numerous communities downstream. The funded project seeks to secure easements and acquire land to safeguard the headwaters of key watersheds, ensuring the continued provision of clean and reliable water resources.

Furthermore, the conservation of these watershed areas contributes to the overall health and resilience of the Appalachian ecosystem, supporting a diverse array of plant and animal species. By protecting these crucial habitats, the project helps maintain the ecological balance of the region and provides lasting benefits to both the natural environment and the communities that depend on clean water sources.

Project 3: Preserving Forests with Cultural and Historical Significance in the Southeast

In the Southeastern United States, the Forest Legacy Program has provided funding to preserve forests with cultural and historical significance. These forests are not only valuable for their natural resources but also hold deep cultural and historical importance to indigenous and local communities. The funded project aims to protect these forests through the acquisition of conservation easements and land, ensuring that their cultural and historical value is honored and preserved for future generations.

By recognizing the cultural and historical significance of these forests, the project fosters a deeper connection between people and the land, promoting a sense of stewardship and respect for the natural and cultural heritage of the Southeast. Additionally, the conservation of these forests contributes to the overall preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in the region.

Project 4: Protecting Urban Forests and Green Spaces in High-Density Areas

In urban and high-density areas, the Forest Legacy Program has allocated funding to protect and enhance urban forests and green spaces. These areas, often subjected to intense development and urbanization pressures, are vital for providing recreational opportunities, improving air and water quality, and offering essential habitat for wildlife. The funded project seeks to secure conservation easements and acquire land to expand and protect urban forests, ensuring that these valuable green spaces remain accessible and intact for urban residents.

By prioritizing the protection of urban forests and green spaces, the project addresses the need for nature and green infrastructure in densely populated areas, promoting community health and well-being. Additionally, the conservation of urban forests contributes to the mitigation of urban heat islands, the enhancement of urban biodiversity, and the provision of crucial ecosystem services in urban environments.

Project 5: Sustaining Working Forests and Timberland across the United States

The Forest Legacy Program has also directed funding towards sustaining working forests and timberland across the United States. These forests, managed for timber production and other resources, play a vital role in supporting the nation's economy and providing essential wood products. The funded project aims to secure conservation easements and acquire land to ensure the continued productivity and sustainability of working forests, promoting responsible forest management practices and the long-term viability of the timber industry.

By sustaining working forests and timberland, the project contributes to the economic well-being of rural communities and supports the ongoing supply of wood and forest products essential for various industries. Furthermore, the conservation of working forests helps maintain the natural functions and ecological values associated with active forest management, ensuring that these landscapes continue to provide valuable environmental benefits.


The Forest Legacy 2024 funded projects by the USDA Forest Service represent a significant investment in the conservation and protection of forests across the United States. By supporting a diverse array of projects, from the preservation of old-growth forests to the enhancement of urban green spaces, the program plays a key role in securing the ecological, cultural, and economic values associated with forests.

As these funded projects move forward, they will continue to make a lasting impact on the landscapes and communities they serve, ensuring that vital forest lands remain intact and productive for current and future generations. Through the collaborative efforts of the Forest Legacy Program, landowners, local communities, and conservation organizations, these projects will contribute to the resilience and sustainability of forests nationwide, fostering a legacy of forest conservation that endures for years to come.

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