The total $51,024 in State Conservation Partnership Program Capacity and Excellence grants will use $36,000 for the development of a Collaborative Regional Conservation Implementation Strategy for Chautauqua County.
The grant will allow CWC to run a land cover analysis over the entire county to help better prioritize conservation dollars by applying them to where they will have the biggest impact. There hasn’t been a a standardized analysis done of the whole county in terms of the most erosion prone or flood prone areas. However, CWC has run some models in the Chautauqua Lake watershed.
CWC officials say the development of the Regional Conservation Implementation Strategy will involve significant outreach to inform municipal leaders, landowners, and other stakeholders on the presence of high priority conservation areas in their respective jurisdictions. Ultimately, this project will form a road map to recognition and protection of natural resources, areas of scenic beauty, and biological diversity.
CWC Ecological Restoration Manager Twan Leenders will lead the effort with mapping geographic information system (GIS) analysis to be performed by biologist Jonathan Townsend.
The second part of the grant of $15,024 will be used by CWC for accreditation preparation and application support. These funds will enable CWC to add needed capacity to augment and document its policies and practices and properly archive important records to become an accredited land trust in 2023.
Accreditation will allow CWC to apply for conservation grant programs that make that designation a prerequisite for funding.
The grant funded programs are tentatively scheduled to run from now through June 2023.