Conservation Law Program

For many years, conservationists in Pennsylvania and nationwide have turned to WeConservePA’s model legal documents and technical guides to assist with their conservation endeavors and challenges. With the formal launch of its Conservation Law Program, WeConservePA has now greatly expanded its ability to help land trusts and local governments as well as other nonprofits with legal questions and issues. The Program, led by Justin Hollinger, Esq., WeConservePA’s director of conservation law, includes direct assistance:

Consultation. The staff and volunteers of land trusts, local government open space programs, environmental advisory councils, and other organizations working to conserve land and provide outdoor recreational opportunities may contact the Program to consult on their issues and obtain general legal information.

Direct Representation. For a modest number of qualifying conservation organizations, the Program offers direct client services. Assistance may include direct legal advice, transactional representation, document review and drafting, and help with other project and organizational matters. (WeConservePA does not seek to supplant attorneys assisting organizations in conservation matters but recognizes that gaps exist in local services and expertise.)

Learn more.


The Conservation Easement Assistance Program provides small grants to conservation organizations to help cover the costs of:

  • Completing conservation as well as trail and fishing access easements
  • Amending and restating older easement documents
  • Establishing or updating baseline documentation
  • Installing signs on eased properties.

The program seeks to:

  • Increase the quantity of easements completed and special places protected; and
  • Increase the quality and long-term viability of easements.

To accomplish this, the program requires that organizations do the job right and provides the financial means to do so.


FMP: Forest Management Program (detailed info)

Summary info:

  • WeConservePA is providing grants to land trusts to support the completion of land assessments and resource management plans for largely forested lands already under conservation easement.
  • Subject lands must be in the Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis through May 31, 2024, or until all project funds are committed, whichever comes first. WeConservePA will award up to $150,000 in total grants for this planning work. Applicants may request grants in any amount.
  • WeConservePA will post regular updates at as to how much in grant funds remains available to applicants.
  • This grant program is intended to explore the ways that land trusts, landowners, and forest professionals might work constructively together to better understand conserved lands and ultimately produce better conservation results on the land, including better forest health, habitat improvement, water resource protection, and sustainable timber production.

Link to PDF of grant information.

Schedule and Time Window for Performance

Feb. 12, 2024: WeConservePA begins accepting grant applications

Mar. 11, 2024: WeConservePA begins making grant awards on a rolling basis

Dec. 31, 2024: Deadline for project completion.

It is outside of WeConservePA’s control as to whether time extensions are possible, so applicants should view 12/31 as a hard deadline for performance of work and expenses eligible for reimbursement.


WeConservePA coordinates the Conservation Professionals Mentorship Program. This program aims to connect seasoned professionals in Pennsylvania’s conservation movement with younger or less experienced professionals in mentor-mentee relationships.

Mentees receive guidance and support as they develop professional skills, set goals, and navigate career choices. Mentors hone their leadership and communication skills, and benefit from exposure to fresh perspectives and new ideas.

The partnerships facilitate the sharing of knowledge and formation of productive relationships throughout the Pennsylvania conservation landscape, ultimately helping cultivate and empower a new generation of conservationists. Learn more.

Technical Assistance

WeConservePA provides direct technical assistance via phone, email, and in-person meetings to:

  • land trusts
  • local governments, including to their environmental advisory councils and open space programs
  • trail groups
  • other conservation nonprofits

The assistance will be directed to help build organizational capacity, bring projects and programs to fruition, and foster cooperation and partnerships. The assistance, depending on the specific request, may involve substantial research and analysis.