Grant Program Opens to Address National Forest Challenges through Innovative Finance

Application Deadline is April 22, 2024

Greenville, S.C. December 4, 2023 – The Innovative Finance for National Forests grant program will accept proposal submissions through April 22, 2024. The program supports the development and implementation of innovative finance models that leverage private and public capital to enhance the resilience of forests and grasslands.

“The Innovative Finance for National Forests grant program supports the development of new and effective sources of funding for pressing natural resource challenges such as forest health,” said Pete Madden, President and CEO at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “Tapping into the creativity of local partners gives us another tool to help keep working forests working and providing the products and services that will benefit rural communities and rural economies.”

National Forests across the country provide important services to the American public including clean drinking water, local jobs in nearby communities, habitat for fish and wildlife species, recreational opportunities, and more.

However, with the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and deferred maintenance needs, National Forests and surrounding communities face increased threats to the many benefits these forests provide. Despite ongoing efforts, more investment in creative financial solutions is needed to address these issues. The Innovative Finance for National Forests grant program aims to act as a catalyst for various efforts. It achieves this by awarding grants that explore, pilot, and scale new financial tools that are designed to meet stewardship needs in key areas such as wildfire resilience, watershed health, and recreation infrastructure and access.

“We are grateful to the Forest Service for their leadership on this program,” added Madden.

The Innovative Finance for National Forests grant program is funded and administered by the USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.

“The Innovative Finance for National Forests grant program helps accelerate the pace and scale of land management across national forests and grasslands by investing in locally driven, public-private partnerships that incubate financial innovation,” said Chris French, Forest Service Deputy Chief for the National Forest System. “These partnerships help communities set up replicable funding models that support long-term financial sustainability, specifically in the areas of wildfire risk and recovery, watershed health and recreation infrastructure.”

The Innovative Finance for National Forests team will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, January 17 from 1-2 p.m. EST. Registration is required. For more information on the program, please visit To view the request for proposals, visit the Endowment’s funding opportunities page at

For additional information, contact Peter Stangel at

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities:

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity collaborating with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at

For media information, contact:

Wendy McCarthy, Director of Public Relations at Crawford Agency (864) 248-4290

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