Strategic Land Conservation
Directed Grant Program

The application period is over.

This program supports land conservation projects in California’s Sierra-Cascade region. Planning and implementation projects for both fee title and conservation easement acquisition are eligible.

The goal is to permanently protect high-benefit lands that improve public access and are threatened by conversion to development, particularly lands with significant cultural or natural values and those that provide critical resilience to climate change. Land conservation is an important tool for achieving holistic watershed health.

Grant Guidelines (pdf)

standing ground level looking out at pine trees with some smoke filling the frame and a sign about the Independence Lake Preserve in the foregrounda rock with several grinding holes and a meadow backed by mountains in the backgroundmetal agricultural equipment with a grassy valley and mountain in the background


Eligible applicants:

  • public agencies, including federal agencies
  • qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
  • tribal entities recognized on the current United States Federal Register or the Native American Heritage Commission as a California Native American tribe

Eligible projects:

  • are located within, or provide services to, California’s Sierra-Cascade region
  • are consistent with the goals of this program, defined in the grant guidelines (pdf)
  • result in a clear, demonstrable, and enduring public benefit
  • engage willing sellers only
  • are consistent with applicable city or county General Plan

Example Projects

  • Completion of a property or easement fair market value appraisal
  • Analysis required to support complete California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation
  • Preparation of management plans
  • Fee title/easement acquisitions which facilitate access to public lands
  • Fee title/easement acquisitions of forested property to manage for greenhouse gas emission reductions
  • Fee title/easement acquisitions to protect areas of cultural importance to Native Americans
  • Fee title/easement acquisitions to protect working lands from detrimental land use changes
  • Fee title/easement acquisitions to protect and improve water supply/quality, wildlife habitat, or wildfire resilience

Process and Schedule

Projects must be developed in collaboration with us. Contact your county’s Area Representative to discuss project ideas and to determine if your project is eligible for consideration.

The current grant cycle is being expedited, modified from the Grant Guidelines to the following:

  • March 20, 2023: Proposal due (only one required)
  • Site visits done as needed for implementation projects
  • Appraisals are not required at time of application, but awards are contingent upon recent appraisals approved by Department of General Services
  • June 2023: the earliest grants will be awarded

Grantees must submit six-month progress reports and a final report. Learn more about managing your grant.

Funding Source

This program is funded through state budget appropriations directed towards supporting nature-based solutions that address the state’s multi-faceted climate risks and related State Conservancy priorities. Grant awards are contingent upon funding availability.