N.Y. (WETM) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is offering funding to assist private landowners in growing forests.

“New York’s forests are under continued pressure from development, competition from invasive species, an overabundance of white-tailed deer, and the effects of climate change,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Investing in the establishment and resiliency of our forests is a critical component for ensuring the continued ecosystem services that trees provide. I encourage all interested landowners to take advantage of this funding.”

The DEC has $850,000 in funding available for private landowners planning to restore or establish at least five acres of forest land in New York State. Private landowners can apply for grants ranging from $10,000 up to $100,000. These landowners must be able to match 25% of the grant.

Forest projects eligible for funding could include planting trees, removing vegetation competing with tree seedlings, installing deer fencing, and more. Grant applicants must work with a forester or other qualified natural resource professional to develop their forest projects.

Those interested in applying for these grants can apply through the New York State Grants Gateway. Applicants will need to make an account for the grants system. Applications will be open until 5 p.m. on October 6 or until the funding runs out. Each applicant can submit up to two grant requests as long as each request is for a different piece of property. The grants will be given out on a rolling basis.