Release originally published by NFWF, April 2024

The Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program will award grants to voluntarily restore and sustain healthy forests, rivers and streams that provide habitat for diverse native bird and aquatic species populations. Approximately $3.5 million is available this year. Major funding is provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This year, additional funding is provided by Altria Group and Cleveland-Cliffs.

The overall goal of the program is to improve the quality and connectivity of forest and freshwater habitat to increase the distribution and abundance of birds, fish and other wildlife, as evidenced by a suite of species that collectively are indicators of forest and freshwater habitat condition. The program aims to:

  • Improve the voluntarily management of public and private forestlands to create blocks with a mosaic of mixed-aged forests that support a diversity of bird and wildlife species, especially targeting golden-winged warbler, wood thrush, and cerulean warbler; and
  • Improve stream health by voluntarily removing passage barriers, restoring riparian buffers, and improving water quality and hydrology to bolster populations of brook trout, eastern hellbender and freshwater mussels.

Applicants are encouraged to deploy a range of strategies to engage public and private landowners in active stewardship through technical and financial assistance, demonstrations, education and outreach, and other innovative approaches.


Geographic Focus

The Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program will award grants within the program boundary on the map at right, which includes portions of Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Priority will be given to projects within the focal geographies shown in orange on the map below. For more detailed information about priority habitats and partner priorities, visit NFWF’s Central Appalachia Business Plan GIS Portal.


Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program.

Applicant Webinar: June 3, 2024, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM EDT Register Here
Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, July 18, 2024, by 11:59 AM EDT
Review Period: Mid-July to Mid-September
Awards Announced: Mid-November