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DLNR to award grants for land conservation

HONOLULU—The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Legacy Land Conservation Program (LLCP) is seeking applicants for grants from the State Land Conservation Fund to fund the protection, through acquisition, of lands having value as a resource to the State of Hawaii.

The Legacy Land Conservation Program provides an annual source of funding for the acquisition and conservation of watersheds; coastal areas, beaches, and ocean access; habitat protection; cultural and historic sites; recreational and public hunting areas; parks; natural areas; agricultural production; and open spaces and scenic resources.”

State agencies, county agencies, and non-profit land conservation organizations may apply for funding. Proposed projects may include acquisition of fee title or conservation easements. County agencies and non-profit project applicants must be able to provide at least 25 percent of the total project costs.

The 2010-2011 application cycle may provide approximately $4 million in grants, awarded through a competitive process and subject to any budget restrictions. Ten percent of the State’s land conveyance tax is set aside annually in the Land Conservation Fund for the purpose of protecting Hawaii’s unique and valuable resource lands.

Project applications will be reviewed by the Legacy Land Conservation Commission, which will nominate projects for funding. Projects are subject to the approval of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, consultation with the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, review by the Department of the Attorney General and the approval of the Governor. Final awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Since its inception in 2006, the Legacy Land Conservation Program has awarded an average of $3.4 million in grant funding per year, protecting a total of approximately 7,220 acres of lands having natural, cultural, and agricultural resource value, and leveraging a total of about $37.8 million in matching federal, private, and county funds.

The 2010-2011 LLCP Grant Application and instructions are available at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/llcp. Applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on September 16. For more information on the Legacy Land Conservation Program, visit http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/llcp or call (808) 586-0921.

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