The New England Forests and Rivers Fund is dedicated to restoring and sustaining healthy forests and rivers that provide habitat for diverse native bird and freshwater fish populations in the six New England states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. This program annually awards competitive grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 each.
In its first year, the program has awarded thirteen grants that will restore early successional habitat, modify and replace barriers to fish movement, restore riparian and instream habitat, and engage hundreds of volunteers in forest habitat restoration and stream connectivity projects in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. These projects are expected to:
• open 119 miles of streams for Eastern Brook Trout through barrier modification or replacement;
• improve 140 acres of young forest habitat for New England Cottontail and American Woodcock; and
• recruit at least 540 volunteers to engage in on-the-ground conservation.
Over $1.2 million in grant funds has been awarded, including:
• $401,276 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• $333,576 from Eversource’s Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife initiative
• $250,000 from the U.S.D.A.’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and
• $225,000 from the U.S. Forest Service.
The grantees, in turn, are leveraging an additional $4.3 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of $5.5 million.
Major funding for the New England Forests and Rivers Fund is provided by Eversource’s Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service.