Federal data is complete from 1998-2017. State and local data is complete from 1998-2016. In the tables and charts below, acres are allocated to each program proportionate to the size of the contributions to each acquisition. For example, if an acquisition had two contributions, and each program contributed equal dollar amounts, each program receives 50% of the acres. If you have questions or want to provide updated information, please contact Jessica Welch at email@example.com.
Profile of State Program(s)
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board: The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) was established in 1988. Since then, funding for the program has been derived mostly from the real estate transfer tax with some funding from state bonding and general fund appropriations. Each year funds are split between housing projects and conservation projects. VHCB’s conservation programs consist of a Farmland Preservation Program and a Natural Areas, Recreation Land, and Historic Properties Program. VHCB makes loans and grants to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and state agencies for the acquisition of land and for the purchase of conservation easements. VHCB also has a Local Conservation Grant Program, which provides up to $150,000 for acquisition costs and for associated project costs. In order to ensure local support for the projects, applicants must raise at least 33 percent of the total project costs from other sources and provide a letter of endorsement from the select board of the town where the project is located.
VHCB has the 33 percent match requirements for private working forestland projects as well but does not have that same match requirement for statewide conservation projects. Agricultural projects do not have a required match, but do have cost per-acre limits, and encourage as much leverage as possible to rank well. Vermont Duck Stamp Fund: In 1985, the Vermont Legislature created the Migratory Waterfowl Stamp Program also known as the Vermont Duck Stamp Program. Hunters are required to purchase a special state migratory waterfowl stamp, which establishes the Migratory Waterfowl Fund through receipts of sale. Interest earned from the Waterfowl Fund is dedicated for wetland acquisition and enhancement projects. Monies generated have helped to acquire wetland and adjacent uplands, and important habitat through conservation easements.
Substantial State Investment
Since 1988, Vermont has funded the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board through a real estate transfer tax (along with bonds and general fund appropriations). The state transfer tax rate is .5 percent of the first $100,000 of value for a principal residence and 1.25 percent of valuation for real estate transfers above this $100,000 threshold. Approximately one-half of the proceeds from this tax are dedicated to VHCB, which are then divided between the housing and conservation projects. Besides the transfer tax, Vermont has used bonding allocations to support land acquisition as well as direct appropriations from the General Fund.
State Incentive for Local Conservation Funding
VHCB also has a Local Conservation Grant Program, which provides up to $150,000 for acquisition costs and for associated project costs. In order to ensure local support for the projects, applicants must raise at least 33 percent of the total project costs from other sources and provide a letter of endorsement from the select board of the town where the project is located.
Local Financing Enabled
Local governments in Vermont have the authority to issue general obligation bonds or a property tax to fund land conservation. Of the local conservation ballot measures that have passed most have been property taxes.
Local Programs Included
Data for the Conservation Almanac has not yet been collected for local measures approved by voters in Vermont. Visit www.landvote.org for more information.
Federal agencies and programs that have conserved land in Vermont include:
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Forest Service – Forest Legacy Program (FLP)
- U.S. National Park Service
- U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service – Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)