Environmental Protection Fund aids North Country land trusts

ALBANY — North Country groups are getting more than 20% of a $2.2 million package of grants New York state is giving nonprofit land trusts statewide.

Eight North County land trusts will get 11 grants worth a total of $456,100 from the Environmental Protection Fund, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Thursday:

¯ Champlain Area Trails: Professional Development Grant, $100,000

¯ Thousand Islands Land Trust: Stewardship and Resource Management Grant, $49,000; Transaction Grant, $43,300

¯ Lake Placid Land Conservancy: Catalyst Grant, $60,000

¯ Adirondack Land Trust: Capacity Grant, $30,000; Stewardship and Resource Management Grant, $23,500

¯ Tug Hill Tomorrow: Land Trust Capacity Grant, $36,800; Transaction Grant, $15,800

¯ Northeast Wilderness Trust: Transaction Grant, $40,000

¯ Ontario Bays Initiative: Stewardship and Resource Management Grant, $37,700

¯ The Nature Conservancy: Stewardship and Resource Management Grant, $20,000.

Statewide, 47 land trusts received 70 grants.

The Environmental Protection Fund, set at $300 million again this coming fiscal year, is used for “capital projects that protect the environment and enhance communities,” according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which oversees it. In addition to land trusts, this can include buying land for the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, restoring historic sites, conserving farmland, restoring wildlife habitat, controlling invasive species, upgrading municipal sewage plants, cleaning up waterfront, creating parks and recycling programs.