Cost share funds, grants, tax credits, and other financial assistance
$ Cost Share Funding Available for Management Plans, Thinning, and Other Practices
Max Bennett, OSU Extension 6/07
Funds are often available through the Forest Land Enhancement Program (FLEP) for up to 75% of the cost of a consultant-written management plan. The typical out-of-pocket cost to the owner is $250. Management plans are extremely useful and are required for some other cost share programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). For more information, contact Service Forester Lee Winslow, Oregon Department of Forestry, 664-3328.
Through a grant to the Oregon Department of Forestry, cost share assistance is also available for pre-commercial thinning and slash treatment designed to mitigate insect and disease problems. There is a five-acre minimum project size and the cost share rate is 50%/$230 per acre. Contact Lee at 664-3328 for more information.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Cost share funding is available for a variety of practices including fuels reduction, thinning, pruning, slash treatment, reforestation, and riparian planting. A management plan is required to participate in this program. For more information, call NRCS at 776-4267.
For those interested in streamside plantings and filter strips, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) may be the ticket. For eligible properties, the program covers 75% of the cost of the planting as well as a rental payment. For more information, contact the Farm Service Agency at 776-4270.
Landowners seeking financial assistance for fuels reduction and creating defensible space around their homesites may be eligible for a rebate of $330 per acre through the Oregon Department of Forestry (Jackson County call 664-3328; Josephine County call 474-3152 or their local rural fire district. Generally, funds are available for the 1-acre homesite; in some cases, funds may be provided for non-commercial thinning and slash reduction beyond the 1-acre homesite. Those interested should contact the Department of Forestry prior to beginning work to arrange for a site visit. Availability of funds depends on the status of grants and may vary from area to area.
For conversion of under-producing forestlands or brushfields to conifer forests, consider the Forest Resource Trust Program. To qualify you must have at least ten acres of under-producing forestlands - lands capable of growing forests but currently in brush, cropland, pasture or very poorly stocked and not subject to a reforestation requirement of the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Land must also be zoned forest or farm use land, and must be part of a private forestland ownership of no more than 5,000 acres. The landowner commits to establishing a healthy "free-to-grow" forest stand and takes responsibility for seeing that the reforestation gets done. If timber is harvested from the forests created with trust monies, participating landowners must repay the trust (up to set amounts) with a portion of the profits. Owners may receive up to 100% of the reforestation cost up to a cap of $100,000 every two years.
There is also a tax credit available for reforestation of under-producing forestlands, including brush fields and pastureland capable of growing a commercial forest. Eligible costs include: site preparation, trees and planting, release from competing vegetation, conservation of soil moisture, animal damage, employed labor and supervision, and equipment operating costs. Personal labor is not an eligible expense. Reasonable costs are determined by the state forester. For more information, contact the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, 5286 Table Rock Road, Central Point, Oregon 97502, 541-664-3328.