Request for Proposals

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					                               Request for Proposals
                           FOREST LEGACY PROGRAM
                             Program Year - Fiscal 2014

               Application Deadline: Thursday, July 19, 2012; 4:00 pm

   (Pre-Applications, if submitted, should be received by June 28th at the latest)


The Forest Legacy Program assists state governments in identifying and protecting
important forested lands through conservation easements and fee simple purchases.
Conservation easements allow private individuals to retain ownership, while providing
for the conservation of forested lands. Fee simple purchases provide for additional state
properties, held in the public interest, to be maintained and managed as working forests,
or natural areas. Both tools provide the Commonwealth of Virginia’s private landowners
the opportunity to help conserve important forested lands, in perpetuity, for future

The Department of Forestry (DOF) seeks applications for the Forest Legacy Program for
the Federal 2014 fiscal year. Successful applicants may be awarded a grant in an amount
up to 75% of the federally-approved appraised value.

This Request for Proposals document contains three sections:

      New This Year (pages 1-2) – an overview of a revised proposal (application)
       process and upcoming strategic planning sessions in May
      Program Information (pages 3-5) – an overview of the history and other
       specifics of the Forest Legacy Program in Virginia
      Offering a Proposal for the Program (pages 6-9) – specifics on the proposal
       creation and submission process


New Application Process (and the reasons why)

The application process for the program has been changed beginning this year. Land
conservation organizations who are considering the Forest Legacy Program as a potential
funding source for their clients will be encouraged to attend a ½-day planning session at
one of three locations across the state in May. These sessions will provide information on
the current competitive nature of the program, will include a regional strategic planning
discussion, and will provide an opportunity for various land conservation entities to
interact and discuss potential client properties that might be a good fit for the Legacy

program. These sessions will be held at three locations across the state (see below) and
will begin the process of providing more competitive Forest Legacy proposals from
Virginia in the future.

The need for this joint approach to planning and proposal generation has come about
because the national competition has greatly increased for a decreasing amount of Federal
program funding, and the quality of project proposals nationwide has significantly
improved. Given this level of competition, project proposals must be compiled from
multiple properties (and property types) that, as a whole, meet important and strategic
goals of the land conservation community, and also address state and national
conservation priorities.

The best way to improve the competitiveness of Virginia’s proposals is to utilize the
collective knowledge, and the experience, of Virginia’s land conservation organizations.
That is the reason for this new application process. This new approach will also draw
from the client base of these various organizations and will allow for creation of project
proposals that address state and national conservation priorities, and should perform well
in the national ranking process.

Legacy Strategic Planning Sessions

Strategic Planning Sessions will be held in May, as shown below. Session information
and RSVP response sheets will be sent to all statewide land conservation entities in early
April. Those considering submitting a proposal, or offering one or more properties for
program consideration, should RSVP to the meeting that is closest to their coverage area
(preferred). If there are scheduling conflicts, attendance at another meeting shown below
is encouraged. Attendees will learn more about the program, and will participate in joint
planning for proposals for this program year, and for future years.

The Richmond Area (location to be announced)
Tuesday, May 15th, 10:00 – 2:00 (lunch provided)

VDOF Tappahannock Office, 623 Lewis Street, Tappahannock, VA 22560
Thursday, May 17th, 10:00 – 2:00 (lunch provided)

VDOF Salem Office, 210 Riverland Drive, Salem, VA 24153
Thursday, May 24th, 10:00 – 2:00 (lunch provided)

(Please RSVP prior to attending so we have a head count)


Background and Purpose

The Forest Legacy program was created to allow private individuals the opportunity to
place conservation easements on their land or sell their land to remain as forestland in
perpetuity. The USDA Forest Service delivers the program funding and provides
guidance to states. Virginia completed all requirements for Forest Legacy in 2000 with
the full support of the Governor. The Virginia Department of Forestry administers
Virginia’s Forest Legacy Program and is the state lead agency for the program in

Virginia’s Forest Legacy Program emphasizes environmentally-important working
forests. Working forests are forests that provide timber products as well as other forest
commodities such as clean air, pure water, wildlife habitat, and recreational

Prior History of Forest Legacy in Virginia

Virginia landowners have been awarded Forest Legacy grant funds in the past. Virginia
has been very successful in receiving these funds. The following listing provides grant
information since Virginia became part of the program.

Year   Amount      Number of Approved Tracts                 Type
2001   $967,800    2                                         Fee Simple & Easement
2002   $1,012,000  1                                         Fee Simple
2003   $1,167,000  2                                         Fee Simple & Easement
2004   $2,981,000  2                                         Fee Simple & Easement
2005   $829,000    2                                         Fee Simple & Easement
2006   $229,000    1                                         Easement
2007   $2,100,000  3                                         Easements
2008   $1,485,000  2                                         Fee Simple & Easement
2009   $490,000    2                                         Easements
2010   $2,240,000  3                                         Easements
2013   Pending FY2013 budget and appropriation

Projects and Tracts

Proposals for the Forest Legacy Program are offered as a project, which is usually a
compilation of several individual tracts (many times with separate ownership) that have
some logical connection. This connection might be that the tracts fall within the same
minor watershed, are located within a land trust focus area, are within an area designated

by the county/city as a conservation area, or collectively contribute to the conservation of
an important resource designated by a land conservation organization as worthy of

Tracts normally equate to a tax map parcel, or a combination of contiguous tax map
parcels, under the same ownership. Several tracts (ownerships) usually are offered
together within a Legacy proposal, and make up a project.

Forest Legacy Areas

Tracts (within a project proposal) are eligible for the program if they are located wholly
within, or some portion of the tract touches, the Forest Legacy Area (FLA) for the state.
A map of the current FLA is found in the appendix to this document (FLA shown in
green). Please examine the map to determine if the tracts within your proposed project
appear to be within the FLA. If the eligibility of the tract cannot be determined from
examining this map, then the FLA is also found at the Go to Mapping link at the InForest
website found at . Further instruction on the
use of this site can be provided by contacting Larry Mikkelson at or by calling 434-220-9091. In addition, you may
check the section below regarding pre-applications to determine if a tract falls within the

Eligibility Criteria

The FLA was defined for the Commonwealth, using Geographic Information System
analysis based on the following Eligibility Criteria:
      Threatened by conversion to non-forest use (fragmentation and reduction in
      Continued production of timber and other forest commodities (local and regional
         economic base)
      Natural Heritage Resources (e.g. natural communities, habitat for rare,
         threatened, and endangered species, significant geologic features)
      Watershed Values (water quality, wetlands, riparian buffers, groundwater
         recharge, public water supplies)

Forest Legacy Program Requirements

Each tract approved in the Forest Legacy Program must meet the following stipulations:
    The tract of land must be at least 50 acres in size
    The tract must be at least 75% forested (or the landowner must be willing to plant
       trees on open fields to meet this percentage)
    The title to the land must be free and clear of any liens and/or adverse

Landowner(s) participating in the Forest Legacy Program must:
    be a “willing seller”
    be willing to encumber their property with a perpetual conservation easement, or
      be willing to sell their property in fee simple
    allow the Forest Legacy Monitoring Team access to the tract annually for
    be willing to sell the easement or fee simple rights at a bargain price not
      exceeding 75% of the appraised value according to Federal appraisal standards
      (Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions)
    be willing, if program administrative funds are not adequate, to pay a portion of
      the due diligence costs necessary to acquire the conservation easement or land in
      fee simple by accepting less than the full 75% allowed under the program, or by
      paying these costs directly
    be willing to sign an option contract or sales contract, prior to national
      competition, showing commitment and interest in placing a conservation
      easement on their land, or selling their land, to remain as forest land in perpetuity
    in the case of an easement, provide a Forest Stewardship Plan or multiple-
      resource forest management plan for the property for review by DOF and the US
      Forest Service prior to closing on the easement; it may be necessary for the
      landowner(s) to pay the cost of preparing the plan


Pre-Application for FLA Determination

Those considering the Forest Legacy Program may submit the Pre-Application sheet and
a map, or sketch, of the tracts being considered for inclusion by the Project Advocate in a
project proposal. The Pre-Application is used to determine whether or not tracts are
located within the current FLA. These maps/sketches will be compared by DOF to GIS
shape files of the FLA to make this determination. A tract does not need to fall wholly
within the FLA to be eligible; if any portion of a tract falls within the FLA, the tract is

Landowners who submit a Pre-Application will be notified by DOF within two weeks of
receipt of the sheet whether or not each individual tract is located within the FLA, and
thus is eligible for participation.

There is no deadline for the Pre-Application, however, the sooner the sheet is received,
the more time the landowner will have to prepare the application, and the Project
Advocate will have to prepare a proposal. It is strongly suggested that Pre-Applications
be submitted by Thursday, June 28th at the very latest. If you are certain (by looking at
the FLA map in the appendix) that the tract(s) fall(s) within the FLA, there is no need to
submit a Pre-Application.

You do not need to submit a pre-application in order to apply for the program; the
purpose of the pre-application is to let you know beforehand if any particular tract
falls within the FLA, is eligible for the program, and can be part of a project

Landowner Requirements

Individual landowners need to complete a Forest Legacy Application providing the
necessary information and documentation for the Proposal Advocate (see below) to
complete a proposal. Individual landowner applications need to be provided as part of the
proposal (details below).

Who Can Offer a Proposal?

A proposal for the Forest Legacy Program may only be presented by a Proposal
Advocate. An individual landowner interested in the program will need to designate a
Proposal Advocate on their program application.

A Proposal Advocate may be a:
    Land conservation organization (ie. local or regional land trust, The Nature
      Conservancy, Trust for Public Lands, The Conservation Fund, etc)
    State agency (ie. Dept. of Forestry, Dept. of Conservation and Recreation,
      Virginia Outdoors Foundation, etc.)
    Any other interested organization (ie. Farm Bureau, The Chesapeake Bay
      Foundation, The Audubon Society, etc.)

The Proposal Advocate will be expected to: 1) take the tract information found in the
individual landowner applications, write up, and submit a project proposal, 2) make a
presentation about the project before the Forest Legacy Subcommittee at their late-
August to mid-September meeting, and 3) assist VDOF in entering project data into the
Forest Legacy Information System in November.

Required Contents of a Proposal

A proposal for the Forest Legacy Program must contain the following:

   1) A narrative write up describing, as a minimum, how the proposal (and the
      individual tracts offered) are important, threatened, strategic, and ready for
   2) One (1) manually-signed (by the respective landowner) original Forest Legacy
      Application (and the attached documents and maps) for each tract in the proposal
   3) A map showing the location of each tract in the proposal, their proximity to each
      other, and other conservation boundaries and/or focus areas that are referred to in
      the write up
   4) copies of documents (specific pages) referred to in the write up
   5) Six (6) photocopies of the proposal write up and all attached proposal materials
      including documents, aerial photos, and maps, except that copies of the individual
      Forest Legacy Applications (and the associated maps and documents) are not

Completing the Proposal / Proposal Ranking

A completed proposal for the program must be submitted by the due date.

The Forest Legacy application includes a section where the applicant provides
information about how Important, Threatened, Strategic, and Ready their respective tract
is. The Proposal Advocate employee writing the proposal should consider this
information offered by the applicant, as well as other information at its disposal, in
preparing the proposal write-up.

The Legacy Proposal Evaluation Sheet is found in the appendix to this document. This
sheet is used during the proposal review and ranking process. By providing information

about how the proposal meets these criteria, the Proposal Advocate can help to improve
the ranking of the proposal.

If specific documents are referenced in the proposal write-up, please include with the
proposal copies of the specific pages in the document that are referenced, but not the
entire document. As an example, if you reference the zoning ordinance for the county,
only include copies of the pages that you reference, not the entire document.

In addition to considering the importance, threat, and strategic nature of a proposal, the
readiness of the tracts within the proposal are also considered. The project’s readiness is
improved if one or more of the following items have been accomplished for the tracts or
the project:

      Information has been documented to support cost estimate, such as a market
       analysis, preliminary appraisal, or appraisal
      Landowner and easement holder have agreed to the terms of the easement or fee
      Cost Share commitment has been obtained from a specified source; the ranking of
       the proposal can be increased by: 1) committed cost share that is greater than the
       required 25% (a landowner who is willing to accept less than 75% of the
       appraised value as a bargain sale)
      Signed option or purchase and sales agreement with the state has been executed
      Tract owners have signed and provided a letter of intent to the state
      Title search is completed
      Minerals determination is completed, to ascertain if subsurface minerals are likely
       to exist on the tract and that the mineral rights have not been severed
      Stewardship plan or multi-resource management plan is completed

Process for Proposal Advocates to Submit Proposals

All proposals should be completed in conformance with requirements set out in this
Request for Proposals. Failure to complete all parts of the requirements found herein
could result in your proposal not being accepted for review and ranking for 2014.

All applicants must mail or deliver proposals to Virginia Department of Forestry,
Attn: Larry Mikkelson, 900 Natural Resources Drive, Suite 800, Charlottesville,
Virginia 22903. If hand delivering your proposal, you may deliver them to the
receptionist located on the first floor of 900 Natural Resources Drive.

We will not accept facsimile or email documents, as all documents must be clear and
legible and appear with original signatures on the proposal.

Proposal Due Date – Thursday, July 19, 2012; 4:00 pm

To assure that all qualifying proposals for the Forest Legacy 2014 program year can be
evaluated and considered, the DOF must receive proposals by no later than 4:00 pm on
Thursday, July 19, 2012.

Proposal Review / Ranking Process

All proposal documents will be reviewed by DOF to assure that they meet the minimum
requirements outlined herein. Proposals that meet minimum requirements will be
evaluated in more detail. The information provided in the proposal materials, and
information and photos secured from a field visit to the project site, will be provided to
the Virginia Forest Legacy Sub-Committee for review and ranking at their meeting
during August or September, 2012. The Proposal Advocate will be notified of the
meeting date and will be asked to make a presentation to the sub-committee at this
meeting. The top three (or sometimes fewer) ranked proposals will be forwarded to the
Virginia Forest Stewardship Committee for review and recommendation.

The recommendations from the Virginia Forest Stewardship Committee will be
forwarded to the State Forester for final review, approval and final ranking. The State
Forester’s recommendations will be forwarded to the U. S. Forest Service for
consideration by a National Panel from across the country in January, 2013. The final
decisions from the National Panel will be forwarded to the Office of the President for
Federal Fiscal Year 2014 budget consideration. The Congress will then consider the
President’s Budget and authorize grant award amounts in the Appropriations Act.

Additional Sources of Information and Assistance

U. S. Forest Service Forest Legacy website, – this website provides links to
additional information about the Forest Legacy Program.

Department of Forestry; the following link at the DOF website has complete
application documents for downloading;

United States House District website, – this website will provide
Congressional district information.

Contact Information

Larry Mikkelson – Forest Legacy Manager      Debbie Luna – Forest Legacy Support
Phone 434-220-9091                           Phone 434-220-9021
FAX 434-220-9140                             FAX 434-220-9140
Email –     Email –


                             Virginia Forest Legacy
                           Proposal Evaluation Sheet

Property/Project:     ____________________________________
Landowner(s):         ____________________________________
County/City:          ____________________________________
Acres:                ______________
Date of Evaluation:   ______________
Evaluator:            ____________________

Readiness Information (Yes/No):

_______ Completed Market Analysis or Preliminary Appraisal?
_______ Bargain Sale of 75% agreed to?
_______ Signed Option Agreement?
_______ Signed Purchase and Sales Agreement?
_______ Held by 3rd party, at request of the state?
_______ Title search completed?
_______ Minerals determination completed?
_______ Management Plan completed for the property (CE only)?

Program Requirements (Yes/No):

_______ Owned by willing seller(s)?
_______ Signed consent agreement?
_______ 25% match available?

Percent Match offered? _____________ %

Importance Scoring

Forestry and Potential Forest Productivity:
Land managed according to a Forest Management Plan        ___ (0-2 points)
Land is 3rd party certified                               ___ (0-1 points)
Forestry activity contributes to resource-based economy   ___ (0-2 points)
Contains characteristics (slope, soils) to sustain a
       productive forest                                  ___ (0-1 points)

Threatened and Endangered Species Habitat:
Property contains documented T & E species                ___ (0-3 points)
      (consider numbers shown below during scoring)
Number of Federally Listed Species    _____
Number of State-Only Listed Species   _____

Fish, Wildlife, Plants, and Unique Forest Communities:
Contains unique forest communities as documented by a
       formal assessment or wildlife conservation plan or
       strategy                                               ___ (0-3 points)

Water Supply and Watershed Protection:
Provides a public drinking water supply buffer, contains
      an aquifer recharge area, or protects an ecologically
      important aquatic or marine area.                     ___ (0-3 points)
Contains important riparian area, wetlands, shorelines,
      River systems, or sensitive watershed lands.          ___ (0-3 points)

Public Access:
Will maintain or establish access by the public for recreation ___ (0-3 points)

Is located within the viewshed of a formally-designated scenic
       feature such as a trail, river, or highway            ___ (0-3 points)

Historic / Cultural / Tribal:
Contains formally-documented features of historical,
       cultural, and/or tribal significance                   ___ (0-3 points)

Non-Timber Economic Benefits:
Provides non-timber revenue to the local or regional
      economy through hunting leases, ranching,
      non-timber forest products (maple syrup, pine
      straw, ginseng collection), guided tours (fishing,
      hunting, birdwatching) and recreational rentals
      (bikes, boats, outdoor gear)                            ___ (0-3 points)

SUBTOTAL                                                      ___ (30 points max)

Strategic Scoring

Conservation Strategy:
Fits within a larger conservation plan, strategy, or
        initiative as designated by a government or
        non-government entity                                 ___ (0-15 points)

Supports Conservation Investments:
Strategically linked to enhance previous conservation
       investments (past FLP projects, protected Federal

       State, or NGO lands) or other Federal land
       protection efforts (NRCS, NOAA, etc)                     ___ (0-15 points)

SUBTOTAL                                                        ___ (30 points max)

Threatened Scoring

Legal Protection:
Legal protections that currently exist (zoning, easements);
      whether these protections remove the threat of
      conversion, and to what extent.                           ___ (0-4 points)

Land and Landowner’s Circumstances:
Landowner circumstances including: property held in an
      estate, aging landowner, future use by heirs is
      uncertain, property is for sale or has a sale pending,
      purchase offers received, has an approved
      subdivision plan, or good land steward interested
      in conserving the land (no penalty for latter type
      of landowner).                                            ___ (0-4 points)

Adjacent Land Use:
Use of adjacent land including: current use of adjacent land,
      rate of development growth or conversion,
      population growth, rate of change in ownership.         ___ (0-4 points)

Ability to Develop:
Physical attributes that will facilitate conversion: access,
        slope, water/sewer, electricity, etc.                   ___ (0-4 points)

Third Party Ownership:
Acquired by a 3rd party at the request of the State (evaluate
       threat based on situation before 3rd party acquisition). ___ (0-4 points)

SUBTOTAL                                                  ___ (20 points max)

TOTAL SCORE FOR PROJECT                                   ___ (80 points max)


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