The LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund

The LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund is an incentive program providing grants to encourage communities and landowners to work together to conserve their critical lands. The fund targets lands that are deemed important to the community such as agricultural lands, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and other culturally or historically unique landscapes.

Money from the Fund must be used to preserve or restore open lands and agricultural lands. Please see the definitions for "open land" and "agricultural land" in the application materials. Generally, municipal parks, ball fields, and other types of developed, active recreation areas are not critical lands as defined by the Quality Growth Act.

Funding is typically available to: Utah counties, cities, towns, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and charitable organizations that qualify as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The LeRay McAllister Fund can only provide up to 50% of a project's total cost. Applicants must provide the remaining 50% or more of matching funds. To date, the public and private interest in preserving critical lands has been great enough to leverage an average spending ratio of 5:1 matching the State's contribution.  View a partial list of past matching partners here.

Use of funds
Funds must be spent within one year from the date of the grant award. Purchases of fee title to land may not exceed 20 acres. The 20 acre limitation does not apply to purchases of conservation easements or restoration projects. In counties of greater than 50% public land, a parcel of similar size must be transferred from public to private ownership.

The Quality Growth Commission, which is comprised of a thirteen member, Governor-appointed board, with assistance from the planning section of the Governor's Office of Planning & Budget and experts from a variety of industries, review each project to ensure that public funds are used for projects that truly provide public benefits. The application process requires submission of a pre-application form before a full application. ALL projects require support by the local communities through their local elected officials and legislators.


A key component of Utah 's quality of life is the quantity and quality of the open lands critical to agriculture, recreation, water quality, scenery, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and historic preservation. The Utah Quality Growth Commission, with staff support from the Governor's Office of Planning & Budget, administers the LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund with the intent of protecting these assets.

Contact The LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund

Contact The LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund

John Bennett
Project Manager
P.O. Box 142210
Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
Salt Lake City , Utah  84114
Phone: (801) 538-1027
Fax: (801) 538-1547


Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Utah