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Please contact us to learn more about these funding programs or for assistance with preparing funding applications. Arizona Land and Water Trust 3127 N. Cherry Ave. Tucson, Arizona 85719 Phone: 520-577-8564 Email: Liz Petterson

In 1858 John Butterfield of Utica, N.Y. won a government contract of $600,000 a year for six years to carry mail from St Louis to San Francisco twice a week. The Butterfield Stage line was born. The route through southeastern Arizona from 1858 to 1861 crossed into what is now Arizona from Mesilla, New Mexico Territory at Stein's Pass, then headed west/southwest to San Simon, through Apache Pass, Ewell Springs, and Dragoon Springs (about twenty miles north of Tombstone). It crossed the San Pedro River just north of the present Benson and then veered slightly north to pass Cienega and head up to Tucson.


U.S. Department of Agriculture
Grassland Reserve Program: Funds 100% of the acquisition of conservation easements on a minimum 40 acres to conserve grasslands from conversion to cropland or other uses, while maintaining grazing.

Wetlands Reserve Program: Funds 100% of the costs of conservation easements or restoration cost-share agreements to conserve wetlands on private lands. Farm and Ranchlands Protection: Funds 50% of the acquisition of conservation easements on farm and ranch lands.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program: Provides funding for structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land. Landowners are responsible for 25% of the costs. A possible project includes vegetation restoration.

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program: Landowners may apply for 75% of the cost to improve wildlife habitat. Projects must be on-the-ground restoration and not land acquisition. Contract agreements range from 5-10 years.

Conservation Innovation Grants: Funds the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Private landowners and nonprofits may apply and are responsible for 50% of the project costs.

Conservation Reserve Program: Funds projects to plant vegetation that will improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat. Individual landowners may apply and are required to cover 50% of the costs. Contract agreements are either 10 or 15 years.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Migratory Bird Conservancy Fund: Funds 50% of the costs for projects that directly address conservation of priority bird habitats in the Western Hemisphere. Land acquisition, habitat restoration, and improved management of habitats are program priorities.

Conservation of Private Lands Grants: Offered in partnership with the National Resource Conservation Service, this grant program supports 50% of the cost of projects that engage private landowners, primarily farmers and ranchers, in the conservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife and natural resources on their lands.

Forest Legacy Program
Funds 75% of projects that protect environmentally sensitive forest lands through a partnership with the states. The program focuses on the acquisition conservation easements on private forest lands, and also helps states design and implement forest conservation plans. Landowners must prepare a multiple resource management plan as part of the acquisition in order to qualify.

Landowner Incentive Program
Funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and administered through the Arizona Game & Fish Department, this program provides funding of up to 75% of the costs for private landowners to protect, enhance or restore habitats that benefit at risk species. Funds can be used for conservation easements, but not for fee title acquisition.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act
Funds 50% of the cost for wetland conservation projects. Projects can involve acquisition, restoration and enhancement of wetlands and habitat for fish and wildlife dependant on wetlands.

The Arizona Water protection Fund was established by the state legislature in 1994 to provide grants to private, local, state, federal and Indian agencies for the protection and restoration of rivers and streams. The fund is generated by mandated direct appropriations by the legislature of $5 million per year and varying surcharges on sales of Central Arizona Project water to out-of-state utilities. In 1996, grants totaled $5.5 million, but unfortunately the funding zeroed out in the FY'02 budget. There was $2.5 million in the FY'0s budget. The dedicated funding source (in lieu of taxes collected through the general fund appropriations) was diverted to the general fund during the FY'02-FY'03 budget debate.