Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB)
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) was established in 1987, via legislation, as a funding mechanism for conservation land deals. The VHCB originally operated using money from VHCB trust funds matched with federal funds. However, the current funding for the VHCB comes from the Vermont state property transfer tax. This group funds land deals for recreation, farmland preservation, water quality protection, and many other conservation related uses.
In order for a conservation organization to gain access to the funds granted by the VHCB, they must fill out an application and submit it to the board. The board then reviews all applications. However, an organization that has applied for funding from the VHCB may not be granted the funds during the first funding round of consideration. Due to the limited number of funds, it may take several rounds of funding for an organization to receive the funding that they've applied for. With that said, the VHCB has funded thousands of land conservation efforts across Vermont and continues to grant money to conservation as often as possible in order to work towards their mission of creating affordable housing, conserving agricultural lands, forestland, natural areas, and historic properties across Vermont.
Agricultural Land, Funding, Land Management, Land Protection
The VHCB is able to use federal funds to help non-profits and other conservation organizations conserve land. Specifically, the VHCB is able to assist in the conservation of contiguous habitat blocks to help battle the effects of habitat fragmentation. Additionally, the VHCB provides a platform to address the needs of an entire community and to use conservation to meet multiple societal needs without gentrification. In this respect the VHCB is able to target local priorities instead of just statewide priorities.
Private Funding Sources
In order for the VHCB to operate in the best interest of the local communities, it is important to understand aspects of the land that are significant to local communities. Without this understanding, it would be impossible for the VHCB to operate effectively.
The VHCB operates through an application process undergone by the nonprofit organization that is seeking funding. Many nonprofits organizations are run by volunteers that may not previously worked in a conservation field professionally. VHCB staff often help applicants through the time consuming process of applying for funding.