Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate to Establish New Forest Conservation Program

Bill is companion to version in the U.S. House of Representatives

Matt Leahy | August 23, 2023
A view through green leaves in a forest.

A conservation easement in Cornish.

The Forest Society applauds the introduction in the U.S. Senate of the Forest Conservation Easement Program Act. The purpose of FCEP is to keep forests as forests through the use of conservation easements that purchase development rights from willing private and tribal landowners to prevent conversion to non-forest uses. Private forests in a conservation easement can remain privately owned and working.

The Forest Conservation Easement Program is designed to:

  • Significantly improve and enhance the ability of the Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) to effectively conserve working forests at scale through conservation easements.
  • Prioritize keeping forests as forests continuing to provide a multitude of environmental, economic, and societal benefits.
  • Help landowners restore, enhance, and protect habitat for at-risk species while increasing carbon sequestration.
  • Provide landowners with two proven options for placing voluntary conservation easements on their land, with one held by the federal government and one held by eligible entities and land trusts.

To learn more about this proposal, click here for a summary of the act