LWCF Programs

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Grant Programs

American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP)

ABPP Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants (BLAG), as authorized by 54 U.S.C. §308103 and 54 U.S.C. §200305, are available to States and local governments to acquire and preserve eligible American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefield lands.

Battlefield Interpretation Grants are awarded for projects that deploy technology to modernize and enhance battlefield interpretation and education at eligible Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefield sites. These grants support critical stewardship functions by expanding access and engagement to these nationally significant sites and open spaces through more inclusive narratives and technologies.

Battlefield Restoration Grants are awarded for restoration and resource management projects at eligible Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefield sites. These grants support sustainable, community-led efforts to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources at nationally significant sites.

National Park Service State and Local Assistance Programs

The State-side of the LWCF provides 50:50 matching grants to States and through the States to local units of government for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities consistent with a required 5-year statewide plan articulating priority needs. Since 1965 the LWCF has provided more than $5.2 billion through more than 44,000 grants for a wide variety of projects such as parks, sports and playfields, swimming and boating areas, trails, campgrounds, and similar. The Stateside LWCF program is comprised of two programs.  

LWCF State-side formula grants are apportioned to each State, Territory, and Washington, D.C., based on a formula in the Act. Each State is responsible for administering competitions, selecting projects, and then submitting project applications to NPS for review and final decision on award.

The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program is also funded through LWCF and is a separate and complementary grant program to the State-side formula grants program. Although funding similar kinds of activities, projects should target improving recreation opportunities for economically-disadvantaged communities in larger urbanized areas that are under-served in terms of parks and other outdoor recreation resources.

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) Land Acquisition Grants

CESCF Grants provide funds to States and Territories to work with private landowners, conservation organizations, and other non-Federal partners to protect and conserve Federally listed threatened and endangered species and the habitats on which these species depend.  LWCF funds two CESCF grant programs: Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants and Recovery Land Acquisition Grants.

Highlands Conservation Act Grant Program

In 2004, Congress passed the Highlands Conservation Act, authorizing DOI, through FWS, to provide grant funding to eligible State agencies in the Highlands Region (CT, NJ, NY, PA) to purchase and conserve land from willing sellers. Land acquisition projects in the 3.4 million-acre Highlands Region prioritize the conservation of wildlife habitat for at-risk and threatened species as well as lands with important water, recreational, cultural, forest, and agricultural resources. This funding is appropriated annually under LWCF, and each grant is matched dollar for dollar by the recipient. The State Agency is the applicant and is the holder of the land or conservation easement.

Federal Land Acquisition Programs

The BLM, NPS, and FWS use LWCF money to support individual land and water acquisition projects from willing sellers. Each bureau has a defined project selection process and criteria. Tribes can collaborate with agencies to support Federal land acquisition projects funded by LWCF.

Bureau of Land Management

The BLM receives LWCF funding to acquire lands that support specific conservation, recreation, and related projects that enhance management of and public access to existing public land and resources. 

National Park Service

The Federal portion of LWCF is used to acquire lands, waters, and interests therein necessary to achieve the natural, cultural, wildlife, and recreation management objectives of NPS. LWCF monies appropriated for use by the Land Resources Program of the NPS may only be used to acquire lands within the boundaries of National Park System units.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

FWS receives LWCF funds to acquire lands and waters that meet the following conservation priorities: 1.) recovery of the threatened and endangered species where land acquisition is required by the recovery plan; 2.) implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; and 3.) conserving migratory birds of conservation concern. Lands acquired by FWS through this program become part of the National Wildlife Refuge System or National Fish Hatchery System.

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