OSI Resilient Landscapes Initiative

Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Northeast Resilient Landscapes Initiative

Resilient Landscapes Map May 2013

Click here to download a large PDF map   

Fund Overview

Capitalized with a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Northeast Resilient Landscapes Fund provides capital grants and loans to land protection projects within selected regions of the northeast, mid-Atlantic and central Appalachians. Projects must lie in one of OSI’s four Focus Areas, demonstrate the use of Resilient Landscape concepts and meet the other grant criteria detailed below.
OSI awards grants to qualified non-profit organizations through a competitive process with the assistance of an advisory board comprised of experts with knowledge of natural resources, conservation policy and land conservation funding.

For information on the Southeast Resilient Landscape Fund, click here.


Geographic Focus Area

Through an in-depth review Landscape Selection Process OSI selected the following four Focus Areas to target funding. Click on the region to download a PDF fact brochure with maps:

Potomac Headwaters – West Virginia & Virginia
Highlands and Kittatinny Ridge – New Jersey & Pennsylvania
Middle Connecticut River – Vermont & Massachusetts
Southern New Hampshire & Maine Forests 


Application Process and Deadlines

OSI accepts applications for the Northeast Resilient Landscape Fund on a rolling basis. Applicants may apply at any time and OSI will accept proposals until all funding has been committed. OSI Staff and Advisory Committee will review applications within approximately four months of the proposal’s submission date.

The next proposal review meeting will be held in March 2017. For your application to be considered at this meeting, please submit your application byJanuary 25, 2017. If you submit your proposal after January 25, OSI will review it at the next application review meeting.

All applications must be submitted through our online service here.

Prior to submitting an application please review the Definitions and Map Guide (Updated Dec. 14,2016), Frequently Asked Questions, and Grant Criteria below. 

We encourage applicants to contact OSI staff to discuss your project before preparing a proposal.

West Virginia and Virginia projects:
Jennifer Melville

New Jersey and Pennsylvania projects:
Bill Rawlyk

Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont projects: Jennifer Melville

NOTE: New Data Analysis and Maps

To determine eligibility and to assess your project’s resiliency attributes applicants will use the newest data and will produce maps directly through TNC’s new Resilient Landscapes  Mapping Tool.  

OSI ‘s updated Definitions and Data Guide defines and explains resiliency concepts, details map requirements for capital grant applicants and provides examples of the required maps.

For data questions and assistance contact Neil Jordan (njordan@osiny.org 212-290-8200).

Grant Criteria

* Please review the Definitions and Map Guide for definitions of the terms used below, to determine eligibility and to determine resiliency attributes. 

To be eligible for funding, projects must meet all of the following Threshold Criteria (asterisks denote terms defined in OSI’s Definitions and Data Guide:

  • Lie within an OSI Resilient Focus Area *
  • Rank above average for Landscape Resilience *
  • Achieve permanent protection of high resilience habitat through fee purchase of land or a conservation easement
  • Meet or exceed OSI conservation easements standards (See standards below for conservation easement projects)
  • Be spearheaded by an organization with the capacity and financial ability to execute the transaction and ensure long term stewardship and management of the property consistent with the Fund’s objectives.
  • Be completed within 18 months of receiving notification of OSI’s grant award.

OSI will evaluate projects that meet the Threshold Criteria against the following:

  • Extent of the property that ranks above-average for Resilience*
  • Extent and type of Underrepresented Geophysical Settings found on the property*
  • Extent of the property that ranks above-average for Landscape Diversity*
  • Extent, status and condition of plant and animal species and natural communities found on the property
  • Role of the project, either alone or in conjunction with existing protected areas, to help ensure the long term viability of plant and animal species
  • Threat to the property and/or particular conservation opportunity presented by the project
  • Evidence of a stewardship plan for the long term conservation of the property that is consistent with the Fund’s objectives.
  • Prospects for 5:1 or greater financial leverage. OSI will only approve projects with less than 5:1 match in exceptional circumstances. (See match requirements below)
  • Evidence of the applicant’s interest in and ability to advance the use of resiliency science to ensure climate adaptation for species
  • Ability of the project to illustrate the importance of resilient landscape conservation and/or to catalyze other projects that will protect resilient habitat
  • Evidence that the land trust receiving funding from and/or holding property funded through an OSI Resilient Landscape grant is accredited by the Land Trust Commission or has a reasonable plan and timeframe for attaining accreditation that has been adopted by the land trust’s board.

Conservation Easement Standards

Stewardship of Resilient Landscape Fund grant projects must be consistent with the goals of the Fund: maintaining the land’s resilience to climate change and conserving native biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Prior to submitting a grant proposal, applicants should review OSI’s standards for fee land stewardship and for conservation easement (CE) terms (download here).

Match Property Eligibility 

To be eligible as match, a property must 1) be adjacent or proximate to the subject property, 2) meet the Fund’s criteria, 3) be part of a larger plan that includes conservation of the match and subject properties, and 4) close prior to the closing of the subject property but not more than one year before date of application. In addition, to determine eligibility of match parcels OSI will consider whether the match and the subject properties lie in the same watershed, geophysical setting, TNC Resilient Focal Area, Forest Matrix Block, natural community and/or State Wildlife Action Plan priority area.

The following do not qualify as matching funds:

  • Ecological or land restoration dollars
  • Stewardship endowments and land management expenses
  • Staff time, travel or expenses


Eligible Uses of Funds

Grants may be used to acquire permanent conservation easements and fee interest in land. In exceptional cases, grants may be applied to cover transactional costs, including cost of appraisals, surveys, title, and environmental assessments. The Fund may also provide short-term low-interest loans for projects that require bridge financing and that meet the grant criteria. Grant funds cannot be used for endowments, stewardship costs, baseline documentation reports, staff time, buildings or other non-capital project expenses.


Grant Awards

OSI staff and the Fund’s Advisory Committee review applications against the Fund’s criteria and goals. 

Once OSI has approved a grant, we will provide the grantee with a checklist of items required for OSI to prepare a grant agreement. When all required information and documents are received, OSI will forward a grant agreement to the grantee. If applicable, the grantee must provide documents pertaining to each project phase and match parcel. OSI will release funds at the time the transaction closes or after project closing. Projects must close within 18 months of OSI’s grant approval


General Information & Application

Yasemin Unal-Rodriguez
212-290-8200 x 311

West Virginia and Virginia

Joel Houser


New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Bill Rawlyk

Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Jennifer Melville

Catalyst Program
Abigail Weinberg 

GIS assistance
Neil Jordan 





















Catalyst Program
Abigail Weinberg 

GIS assistance
Neil Jordan 

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