Funding for Private Landowners to Grow the Forests of the Future
The purpose of this grant program is to support the regeneration of forests so they may continue to deliver vital services such as mitigating climate change, protecting air and water quality, and supporting the economy. Young forests in New York face many challenges today that did not exist a century ago, the most significant being wide-spread damage caused by increased white-tailed deer populations and competition from invasive vegetation. Active management of the land is essential to ensure the survival of young trees and allow forests to become established or renew themselves, but this can be an overwhelming and expensive task.
Through Regenerate NY, landowners can apply for financial assistance for projects on their land that support the establishment and renewal of healthy forests. This is a cost share reimbursement program, so all costs must be incurred by the landowner or fiscal sponsor before they can be reimbursed.
More information for applicants, including further details on each of the sections below, can be found in the Request for Applications (RFA) (PDF).
Applicants may also be interested in a list of frequently asked questions (PDF) about the grant program.
Webinar for Interested Applicants
A webinar about project eligibility and the application process (including info on the use of Grants Gateway) was held on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 at 10:00am.
Eligible applicants include:
- any individual, partnerships, for-profit entity, or not-for-profit entity that owns (in fee) 5 or more acres of land that is forested or can become forested through planting
- quasi government entity Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) on behalf of private landowners
- any not-for-profit applying as a fiscal sponsor on behalf of an eligible applicant
Applicants must work with a forester or other natural resource professionals to develop their project. Find a DEC cooperating forester (PDF). Up to two applications may be submitted per applicant, provided they are for separate properties.
Projects must be able to be completed within three years and may not be for orchard, ornamental, nursery, or Christmas tree purposes. They must also include at least one of the following four forestry practices specific to promoting regeneration. Multiple practices may be combined into a single application.
- Afforestation/reforestation - Conduct activities that encourage the establishment or regeneration of commercial tree species to create or maintain a forested landscape. This may include site preparation, tree planting, or installing tree shelters for the purposes of timber or fiber production and carbon sequestration. Planting projects must use native trees or non-native species that are not invasive. For more information on tree planting and maintenance, visit our page on conservation tree plantings or the Cornell Guide for Planting and Maintaining Trees and Shrubs.
- Forest stand regeneration - Apply treatments to an area that enhance or stimulate the regeneration of forest stands currently in a degraded or otherwise unproductive condition. Approved treatments may include coppicing, use of seed trees, shelterwood cutting, overstory removal, strip or patch clearcuts, uniform clearcuts and group selection, or a combination of these. Clearcuts may not exceed 39 acres of contiguous forest.
- Competing vegetation control - Employ mechanical removal or chemical control to address aggressive native or invasive plant species that interfere with forest establishment or regeneration. Chemical control may not be used on more than 39 acres of contiguous land. DEC has a list of certified applicators & technicians that can be consulted with for this project type.
- Deer exclosures - Install fencing around an area to protect young trees from deer browse. Fencing may also be used to exclude deer from an area with no established trees to allow natural regeneration to occur. Construction of natural slash walls is a novel technique for excluding deer and is an allowable practice to include in a project. For more information, visit The Cornell Slash Wall Resource Center.
The minimum award amount is $10,000. The maximum award amount is $100,000.
A 25% match is required. For example, a $25,000 project would have a maximum grant amount of $20,000, with $5,000 of the project costs covered by the applicant. Match can be from local funding and/or in-kind contributions that are not from, or supported by, other NYS or federal funding sources. In-kind contributions are non-cash donations provided by non-state and/or non-federal third parties which can include salary, equipment, supplies, services, and other expendable property.
This is a reimbursement cost share grant program, meaning all costs must first be covered by the landowners or fiscal sponsor prior to reimbursement. Landowners or fiscal sponsors can be reimbursed for up to 80% of eligible project expenses that are incurred after the grant is awarded. Reimbursement may take up to 30 days from receipt by DEC. Costs for projects that occur before the grant is awarded cannot be reimbursed.
All applications must be submitted through the NYS Grants Gateway System. Paper applications will not be accepted. Applicants must register in the Grants Gateway before they can apply and not-for-profits must also prequalify before the application deadline or their grant proposal will not be evaluated.
Resources for grant applicants - including instructional videos, live webinars, and supporting documents- are available on the Grants Gateway website. Applicants may also review our Regenerate New York Application Checklist (PDF) to help them assemble any required supporting documentation in advance of applying. Questions regarding registration, prequalification, and submitting applications should be directed to (800) 820-1890 or email [email protected].
Applications for Round 3 are no longer being accepted.
Grant funds will be awarded on a rolling basis.
Questions about the Regenerate NY program should be directed to:
NYSDEC, Lands and Forests