For Natural Resource Applicants
Land conservation endeavors to protect high-quality lands from development. Lands can be conserved for a variety of purposes, including water quality protection, wildlife habitat protection and enhancement, preservation of scenic views and conservation of important forest and agricultural lands.
Land conservation helps to maintain the economic base of New Hampshire by ensuring the availability of an adequate long-term supply of forest products, and local food, as well as enhancing the tourism industry. Land conservation not only protects the irreplaceable physical resources of our natural environment, but also protects the vitality, quality of life, and sense of place that are so important in our communities and in our state.
The following information will guide you through the process of applying for an LCHIP natural resource grant and what you must do if you receive a grant. Click each step in the process to expand it for more information. Please download the Guide to Working with LCHIP Forms before you begin.
Applying for an LCHIP Natural Resource Acquisition Grant
Application materials are updated annually and typically posted by late April. Until that time, materials from the previous year will remain available for reference only. When applying, please make sure you are using materials for the current year.
1. Determine if your organization is eligible
Organizations applying for LCHIP funding must be either a municipality or other political subdivision of the state of New Hampshire, or be a publicly supported nonprofit corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue code. Other interested parties may partner or work with an eligible organization or government entity but may not apply directly to the program.
Applicants are required to read and understand the Criteria Guidelines and Procedures (CGP), LCHIP’s operations manual. The CGP, plus NH RSA 227-M constitutes the complete guidance documents for all applicants.
Applicant organizations are required to adopt applicable sections of the Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices. Learn more about what it means to adopt the LTA Standards and Practices here.
2. Determine if your project is eligible
LCHIP grant funds may be used for certain costs directly associated with the acquisition of land or easements for the purpose of protecting ecologically significant lands, existing and potential public water supply lands, farmland, forestland, habitat for rare species or important wildlife, lands for recreation; shorelands, scenic areas and viewshed, and wetlands and associated uplands.
3. Attend a Grant Workshop
Attending a Grant Workshop is required for first time applicants and recommended for repeat applicants. If a member of your team has attended an LCHIP Grant Workshop in the past this requirement may be waived.
Natural Resources Webinar Workshop - Held May 5, 2021
Click here to view a video of the LCHIP Natural Resource segment this State Conservation Funding Programs Webinar.
Full program featured six NH programs offering grants for natural resource conservation projects and provided an overview of their funding priorities, eligibility requirements, funding available, and application process and timeline.
Presenters included the following: Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund (DWG TF); State Conservation Committee Conservation Grant Program, (“Moose Plates” or SCC), Forest Legacy Program (FLP) -a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and NH’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a Partnership with the National Park Service and DNCR and the Natural Resource Conservation Services’ Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
Presenter's Contact Information
ACEP Ian Rodgers Ian.Rodgers@usda.gov 603-868-9931
DWGTF Sandy Crystall Sandra.J.Crystall@des.nh.gov 603-271-2862
FLP Susan Francher Susan.Francher@dncr.nh.gov 603-271-4159
LCHIP Paula Bellemore Pbellemore@lchip.org 603-325-2253
LWCF Eric Feldbaum email@example.com 603-271-3556
SCC Dea Brickner-Wood NH-Conservation-Committee@nh.gov 603-868-6112
4. Submit an Intent to Apply Form
Prospective applicant must submit a 1-page Intent to Apply Form to Natural Resouce Specialist Paula Bellemore prior to the submission deadline. Projects meeting LCHIP's eligibility criteria are issued an Invitation to Apply. Project Proposals will be accepted only for projects invited to apply.
Adobe Acrobat DC is used for most of our application materials. Please download and install the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and download and read the Guide to Working with LCHIP Forms prior to working on the Intent to Apply Form or any other application materials.
NOTE: If your project impacts significant historic or cultural resource values please contact LCHIP prior to submitting this form.
5. Submit a Project Proposal
The LCHIP Project Proposal includes the application form and several required attachments. It is strongly recommended that anyone helping to develop the Proposal read the entire instructions document carefully before beginning.
NEW!! Technical Review: Proposals submitted prior to the Technical Review deadline will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Within five (5) business days of receipt, Applicants will be advised of any deficiency and given the opportunity to resolve the issue and resubmit the Proposal prior to the Submission Deadline.
LCHIP’s Decision Making Process
Following submission of Proposals and a brief reading period, LCHIP staff schedule site visits to gain a better understanding of the project. Site visits typically take no more than 2 - 4 hours, depending on the size of the property. Following the site visit period, a Review Panel comprised of experts in various elements of natural resource protection reviews all Proposals, creates recommendations, and provides input to the Board of Directors, who is responsible for all funding decisions.
If Your Proposal is NOT Funded – What’s Next?
If a project does not receive LCHIP funding, the applicant will be invited to meet with LCHIP staff to discuss the project and the proposal. The goal of these meetings is to assist applicants to identify ways in which the project or proposal could be strengthened in the future. There is no prohibition against resubmitting an improved Proposal for the project in future LCHIP grant rounds.
Managing your LCHIP Natural Resource Grant
6. Accepting the Award
A Project Agreement is developed by LCHIP in collaboration with the Grant Recipient. It summarizes the obligations of the Grant Recipient and LCHIP, outlines the project’s scope, structure and purpose and should be consistent with the Proposal on which the LCHIP Board of Directors based its funding decision.
To accept the LCHIP Award, an authorized representative of your organization must sign and return this Agreement by the established deadline. Grant Recipients should review the Guidance document for completing a natural resource acquisition project and plan accordingly.
7. Deed Language and Grant Agreement Development
Recipients are advised to contact LCHIP early in the project completion process to obtain the most current deed language requirements, and to work with LCHIP staff to develop the deed. Deed language is subject to review and approval by LCHIP counsel. We strongly recommend submitting a draft deed to LCHIP prior to sending it on to other funders for review.
LCHIP will provide recipients with a Grant Agreement to be executed at closing and recorded at the relevant Registry of Deeds as an exhibit to, or contemporaneously with, the restrictive deed.
8. Submit Final Project Documentation
To receive grant funds, Final Project Documentation must be submitted, reviewed and approved by LCHIP. LCHIP will provide a Dropbox link for submittal of the required documents, if desired.Grant Recipients must submit Final Project Documentation to LCHIP for review and approval no less than four weeks prior to the date on which grant funds are to be released. Please notify LCHIP when all required documents are compiled. During the review process you may be asked to revise certain documents in order to comply with LCHIP’s Criteria, Guidelines, and Procedures (the “LCHIP Guidelines”)
Natural Resource Project Budget Form (Excel file)
9. Grant Agreement
In accordance with NH RSA 227-M:17, a Grant Agreement between LCHIP and the Grant Recipient must be completed and recorded for each grant award. The Grant Agreement describes the grant award, the project scope and structure, and the Grant Recipient’s ongoing obligations. The Grant Agreement must be signed by LCHIP and the Grant Recipient at or before closing, and is recorded at the County Registry of Deeds as an attachment to, or contemporaneously with, the deed(s).
10. Submit Post-Closing Documentation
11. Ongoing Stewardship
LCHIP requires that, for all acquisition projects, the Recipient provide perpetual oversight and stewardship of the property protected, which includes an obligation to monitor and inspect the property annually. Beginning in the calendar year following closing, a report of annual monitoring activity must be submitted to LCHIP annually no later than December 31. LCHIP provides a reporting form for this purpose, or Grant Recipients may use the form of their choosing, as long as all information required by LCHIP is included.