The Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (LISW-RCPP) is a landscape scale initiative that covers the geographic area of Long Island Sound and its watershed. A $10 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program was received in 2015 to development and implementation a comprehensive working lands program to address nitrogen leaving the watershed and impacting Long Island Sound. This program is comprisedof three working areas: 1) nutrient management and soil health, 2) protection of non-industrial forest land and3) working lands adaptation/resilience.  

The primary resource concern addressed by the Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (LISW-RCPP) is excess nutrients in stormwater runoff from working lands and the conversion of agricultural and forest lands to urban uses.

One Solution: Protect Privately-Owned Working Forestland from Development that also Benefits Rare Species Habitat and Water Quality

The LISW-RCPP includes a robust forest land protection program, funded through the targeted application of $3.25 million in Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP) funding, and aimed at bolstering the long-term health of the watershed. 

Protecting and sustaining land as forest is critical both for reaching the nitrogen reduction goals of the TMDL and providing drinking water supply protection. 

Permanent land protection also addresses many of the secondary resource concerns including biodiversity and forest fragmentation. 

More specifically, the LISW-RCPP values the permanent protection of forestland owned by individual and family forest owners that are vulnerable to development or fragmentation, and that contain critical or significant habitat that sustains biodiversity and drinking water supply areas. Evaluation will include the number of acres of priority natural features protected and their contribution to large landscape conservation connectivity.

The LISW-RCPP has developed a pre-screening application process to help NRCS direct $3.25 million in HFRP funding to land protection projects that:

  • Promote the recovery of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
  • Improve plant and animal biodiversity
  • Enhance carbon sequestration
  • Protect drinking water supply resource areas

For more background on the LISW-RCPP project,

The purpose of the LISW-RCPP – Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) is to assist landowners, on a voluntary basis, in helping to restore, enhance and protect forestland resources on private lands through permanent conservation easements.

Bill Labich, Highstead Foundation
working with Harvard Forest

The Long Island Sound Regional Conservation Partnership Program (LISW-RCPP) Forest Land Protection Technical Committee is requesting proposals from professionally qualified surveyors to prepare land survey reports for four properties within the Long Island Sound watershed in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The selected appraiser must seek input from and work with appropriate state NRCS staff and Highstead Foundation, as needed.  The applicant may submit a proposal to generate land survey reports for all or a portion of the properties listed in the RFP below. 

Please email the completed proposals  
and associated materials as attachments to​ by

5 PM, September 30, 2019

Use this subject line: Attn: LISW Forest Land Protection Land Survey

For more information about this program, and/or for assistance, please contact Bill Labich, Chair of the LISW-RCPP Forest Land Protection Technical Committee and Highstead Foundation Senior Conservationist at:​



The Long Island Sound Watershed 
Regional Conservation Partnership Program 
2016 Healthy Forest Reserve Program