Federal Funding

The Highlands Conservation Act

The Highlands Conservation Act (HCA) provides for the purchase and preservation of threatened lands in a four-state Northeastern corridor that includes NY, NJ, CT, and PA.  In 2004, Congress passed HCA, authorizing $10 million a year in land conservation funding and $1 million a year in technical assistance for land conservation projects in the Highlands region for a period of 10 years. The program was reauthorized through 2021.

Most recently, the Highlands Conservation Act has been funded at $10 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, $20 million in FY 2019, and $10 million in FY 2016-2018.

Land Conservation Funding

Federal funding provided by the Highlands Conservation Act has helped protect more than 8,780 acres of the highest valued conservation lands in the region, in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and local governments. Provided through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $77.25 million in federal funding has been allocated to the Highlands program since 2004.

Yearly List of Funding Levels

2020: $10 million

2019: $20 million

2018: $10 million

2017: $10 million

2016: $10 million

2015: $3 million

2012: $5 million

2010: $4 million

2009: $1.5 million

2008: $1.75 million

2007: $2 million

Federally Funded Projects in the Highlands

Map and data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


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Upper Bucks Rail Trail Opens

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in Richland Township to celebrate the opening of a new section of the Highlands Trail in upper Bucks County. Read More

PA Outdoor Corps in the Highlands

Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps member Kayla Snyder writes about this season’s work in the Highlands at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Read More

AMC and Partners Produce Trail Feasiblity Study

Grant funding from the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape funded a trail feasiblity study in Upper Bucks County. Read More