The NFF requires that all projects proposed for funding must include community involvement and hands-on stewardship activities to benefit the National Forest System.
Community engagement, defined as in-person involvement of the public, must be the primary focus of every project funded under MAP. The National Forest Foundation recognizes that communities across the country have varied histories and experiences with public lands and expects that effective and appropriate engagement experiences will vary.
In addition to a focus on public engagement, stewardship activities must be a component of every project proposed to MAP. Specifically, the participants of the groups engaged must complete eligible stewardship-oriented activities that result in benefits to the National Forest System. Benefits may be direct, such as trail maintenance or trash cleanup, or indirect. Examples of stewardship work with indirect benefits include collecting monitoring data which the Forest Service or other public entities will use to inform management decisions, or educating other trail users to prevent resource damage. The NFF recognizes that different activities are appropriate for different types of participants, therefore a variety of activities are allowed, resulting in either large- or small-scale stewardship benefits.
Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Long-Term Benefit
Through MAP, the NFF is reaffirming its interest in expanding environmental and conservation work and who participates in this work, acknowledging that many underserved communities have historically not benefitted from investments on public lands. The selection committee will prioritize projects that aim to create opportunities to advance equitability and the diversity of beneficiaries, whether during the MAP-funded performance period or in the future. Projects that are part of a long-term strategy to create or inspire connection to public lands will also receive priority.
For more information about the above priorities, see https://www.nationalforests.org/assets/files/MAP-R1-2024-RFP.pdf#page=3.