Forest CORE Fund (Mountain Valley Pipeline Region)

The Forest CORE (Community Opportunities for Restoration and Enhancement) Fund for the Mountain Valley Pipeline region was established under VOF’s TERRA Program in June 2018 using $15 million from a mitigation agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC. The Fund’s purpose is to mitigate forest fragmentation that results from the clearing and grubbing activities along the pipeline’s 303-mile right-of-way through Virginia. Grants will be used for projects that compensate for forest fragmentation by preserving, connecting and enhancing forest resources.

Table of Contents

Project Area

Projects must be in localities crossed by the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Objective

To provide mitigation of forest fragmentation through:

  • Avoided deforestation.
  • Establishment of forest land.
  • Restoration/enhancement of forest land.

Types of Projects Funded

  • Fee-simple purchase of land;
  • Purchase of conservation/open-space easements;
  • Purchase of timber harvesting rights;
  • Afforestation, restoration and enhancement activities such as:
    • Tree planting;
    • Timber stand improvement to create healthy native forest composition and structure;
    • Controlled burning to restore and maintain fire regimes;
    • Invasive-exotic species control.
  • Enhancements to facilitate public access and recreational use, such as trail building, interpretive signage, benches, etc.

Funding Amount Available

$1 million available; $200,000 cap per application. Funding available up to 100% of the cost of the project, though projects that leverage outside funds are encouraged. 

Eligible Applicants

  • Localities, park authorities, planning district commissions, regional public access authorities, tribal councils, soil and water conservation districts.
  • Charitable corporations, associations, or trusts declared exempt from taxation pursuant to 26 U. S. C. A. §501 (c) (3).

Minimum Requirements

Proposals must:

  • Be project-specific;
  • Show demonstrated connection to forest and/or forested properties;
  • Demonstrate high level of community support;
  • Be within a locality directly impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline;
  • Be for land open to the public or enhance public access to forested land.

Eligible Components

  • Acquisition of fee title or conservation/open-space easement;
  • Due diligence costs such as surveys, title reports, appraisals including timber stand valuation, and legal services;
  • Planning material such as design work, site plans, and master plans;
  • Site preparation, planting materials, and maintenance costs for restoration and enhancement including ground-work, tree planting, controlled burning, and invasive species control;
  • Infrastructure to assist in community enjoyment of property such as trails, signage, bridges, boardwalks, parking, picnic areas, and bathrooms;
  • Administrative costs, capped at 10% of the funding request.

Land Protection Requirements

Properties that receive grant funding shall apply the following land protection measures as appropriate/applicable. Terms must include a restriction on forest conversion as well as the Forest CORE Fund Forest Management Provision.

  • Granting of open-space or conservation easement to be held or co-held by a public body;
  • Dedication of the project property by Virginia public bodies as protected open space under the provisionsof the Open Space Land Act Va. Code §§ 10.1-1700 through 1705;
  • Inclusion of VOF deed restrictions.

Application Information & Timeline

The third round of grants will open on July 6, 2020. Applications are due November 20, 2020. Please refer to the updated grant program manual and other documentation in the Downloads section below for additional dates and requirements.

Grant Manual

Scroll down to the Downloads section to obtain a PDF version of the 2020 grant manual and supporting documentation.

Contact Information

Questions about grants from Forest CORE Fund should be sent to Emily White, ewhite@vof.org.

Downloads (2020 Program Materials)

Forest CORE MVP News