National Forest Foundation

Ski Conservation Fund and Forest Stewardship Fund

Supporting Places You Play

The National Forest Foundation Ski Conservation Fund (SCF) and Forest Stewardship Fund (FSF) provide funding for action-oriented on-the-ground or citizen-based monitoring projects that improve forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests and Grasslands. Award funds come from guest contributions at ski areas and lodges operating on or adjacent to National Forest System lands, with added National Forest Foundation federal funds for SCF.

On-the-Ground Projects

SCF and FSF support the implementation of on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects that have an immediate, quantifiable impact on the National Forest System. These projects provide a lasting impact to the lands, waters, and wildlife of the National Forest System through the alteration of the physical environment.

Focus Areas

SCF and FSF supports the strategic focus areas of Forest Health and Outdoor Experiences.

Outdoor Experiences

SCF and FSF support results-oriented, on-the-ground, projects that improve the quality, condition, and care of Outdoor Experiences on National Forests by:

  • Improving or maintaining recreation resource connectivity including and similar to: trail maintenance, bridge and crossing construction or repair, and installation of trail drainage structures; and/or
  • Engaging youth (15-25), volunteers, or diverse, underserved or under-engaged populations in hands-on stewardship activities; and/or
  • Employing youth (15-25) and/or veterans crews to implement on-the-ground conservation, stewardship and/or restoration work.

Projects that generate tangible conservation outcomes while enhancing high quality recreational experiences for the users of the National Forest System will receive weighted advantage. Funds cannot support improvements of hardened facilities including, and similar to: campgrounds, parking lots, restrooms, visitor centers, and major signage.

Forest Health

SCF and FSF support results-oriented, on-the-ground, citizen-involved projects that maintain and/or restore forest resiliency by:

  • Promoting forest structural complexity, function and diversity over time; and/or
  • Promoting forest health through the removal or control of non-native invasive species, and/or reintroduction of native plants and trees.

Projects that are consistent with or supportive of large-scale conservation initiatives will receive weighted advantage.

Community Engagement

SCF and FSF projects must show a strong commitment to civic engagement and community involvement through the direct involvement of the public. In order for a project to be eligible for funding, it must have significant, direct community involvement or civic engagement in the pre-implementation, implementation, or post-implementation phases. The public engagement phase of the standard NEPA process is not sufficient to meet this requirement.


SCF and FSF are geographically restricted to the same National Forests from which individual guests contributions originated.


Funds are awarded on a rolling basis as contributions accrue, via competitive and noncompetitive grant processes.

Proposal Deadlines for Competitive Rounds

White River National Forest: December 16, 2015 at 11:59 pm MSTLincoln National Forest: April 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm MDT

Proposal Deadlines and Requests for Proposals for competitive grant rounds will be posted here when available.

Notifications of funding selection or rejection are typically made within 12 weeks of the proposal deadline.


501(c)3 nonprofits, universities, and Native American tribes are eligible to receive SCF and FSF grants. If an organization does not meet this eligibility requirement, it must utilize an eligible fiscal sponsor, in compliance with the NFF Policy on Fiscal Sponsorship.

Funding Restrictions

Applications will not be considered from:

  • Federal agencies;
  • Regional, state or local governmental entities;
  • For-profit organizations;
  • Consultants;
  • Educational and research organizations proposing projects that do not show tangible, on-the-ground benefit;
  • Organizations that cannot produce a 50% cash match of non-federal, project-directed contributions;
  • Organizations considering submitting a proposal for a project that cannot be completed within one year of award.

The following project types are not eligible for funding:

  • Funding for outreach and/or education as a primary project component;
  • General operating or programmatic support;
  • Funding for any form of advocacy or litigation;
  • Funding provided to the U.S. Forest Service or any other federal entity.

Match Requirements

SCF and FSF awards require a 50% nonfederal match of cash or in-kind contributions.

Letters of Support

All applications must include a letter of support from the District Ranger of each National Forest or Grassland unit included in a proposal. Do not submit any additional letters of support.

Application Process

Applications processes vary based on the individual grant round, with details provided in each Request for Proposals.

Funding Type

SCF awards private contributions from guests at ski areas and lodges on or adjacent to National Forests and pairs them with federal funds provided through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Forest Service. SCF funds may not be used to meet the matching requirements of any other federal award program.

FSF awards private contributions from guests at lodges on or adjacent to National Forests.

Typical Awards

Varies greatly based on funding available.

contact information

For Nonprofit Organizations: If you have questions not answered on this website or in the available Requests for Proposals, please contact Zia Maumenee, Conservation Programs Officer at 406.830.3358 or

For Ski Areas and Resorts: Guest contributions support forest health and Outdoor Experiences projects. Our Granting Details and Ski Conservation Fund Overview documents outline how the program works. For more information, contact Marlee Ostheimer, Philanthropy & Partnerships Coordinator at 406.830.3361 or