Land Stewardship: Online Library
This is the first place to look for information on all aspects of land conservation including:
- managing invasive species;
- preparing baseline documents and management plans;
- conservation easement monitoring;
- managing forests;
- restoring habitats;
- developing trails; and
- managing volunteers.
This online library is on the RI Land & Water Conservation Partnership website. The Land & Water Partnership is a collaboration of RI Land Trust Council with Narragansett Bay Program. The online library was developed and funded as a project of the RI Conservation Stewardship Collaborative.
RI Department of Environment (RIDEM) - Division of Planning & Development
RIDEM has several grant programs for land conservation and trail development:
- Open Space Grants help, land trusts, cities, towns and other non-profit organizations acquire and protect their communities' most important open space lands.
- Recreation Acquisition and Development Grants assist municipalities by providing matching funds for development of, and improvements to, recreational facilities.
- Special grants programs provide funds for Distressed Communities, Historic Parks, and other significant resource improvements
The RIDEM Grants Program website has details for all of these grants including:
- Application Process
- Application Form
- Open Space Grant Rules and Regulations
- Scoring Criteria
- Document Checklist
- Standard Conservation Easement Form
- Management Plan Guidelines
- Recreational Trails Program provides grants to cities, towns and non-profit organizations for the development of trails. RIDEM administers and coordinates this program with RI Department of Transportation. See the Recreation Trails Program website for details.
RIDEM - Division of Agriculture
RIDEM provides staff for the RI Agricultural Land Preservation Commission which manages the state's Farmland Protection Program.
- Farmland Preservation Program purchases development rights from farmers to help ensure that farming remains viable in Rhode Island. This program enables landowners to retain ownership of their property while protecting the lands for agricultural use. At the same time, the Agricultural Land Preservation Program provides farmers with a financially competitive alternative to selling their land for development.
The RIDEM - Division of Agriculture website has the statute and rules of the Agricultural Land Preservation Commission and applications for protecting farmland through the state program.
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) - NRCS offers easement programs to eligible landowners to conserve working agricultural lands, wetlands, grasslands and forestlands. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is a new program under the 2014 Farm Bill that consolidates three former programs – the Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program. ACEP provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) - NRCS can provide conservation planning and financial and technical assistance to non-profit land trusts, other organizations and individuals that own farmland or forestland to help prevent soil erosion, enhance woodlands, control invasive plant species, improve water quality, and address other resource concerns. Funds are available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year.
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) - NRCS can provide Federal funding to assist forest land owners with forestland planning and management under the New England - New York Forestry Initiative. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - Provides financial and technical assistance to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Some popular enhancements used by the CSP in Rhode Island include:
- Creating forest openings to improve hardwood stands
- Establish pollinator and/or beneficial insect habitat
- Managing Riparian buffers for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat, and several others