Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund 2017 Request for Proposals

Full proposal Due Date:     January 3, 2018 by 11:59 PM Eastern time

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to further conservation of species and habitats in Alaska. Our conservation strategy for Alaska follows NFWF’s institutional outcome focused approach to species conservation, and includes three primary focal geographies:  The Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, Cook Inlet/Matanuska-Susitna watershed, and Alaska North Slope. Projects outside of these geographies that support fishery conservation may also be considered on a case by case basis, particularly those projects targeting Pacific salmon protection, enhancement and restoration initiatives through the Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships. 

Program funds will be allocated to projects that:

  • Achieve or substantially lead to measurable on-the-ground conservation outcomes; 
  • Fill key information gaps through assessments and strategic monitoring that result in or substantially lead to measureable management actions. 

Support for this program is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and various other federal sources. Grants may be awarded using one or more of these sources of funding.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

Three primary focal geographies are being considered for this RFP:

  • Yukon-Kuskokwim Region
  • Cook Inlet/Matanuska-Susitna watershed
  • Alaska North Slope
Alaska_RFP map (002).jpg

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

Yukon-Kuskokwim Region

The overall goal of the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) focal geography is to conserve the Pacific salmon and migratory birds sustaining the rich and diverse ecological landscape and the people who live there. Focal species for this geography are Chinook and Chum salmon and breeding shorebirds. NFWF seeks to support conservation actions that find solutions to mitigate threats to resources and improve capacity for sustainable fish and wildlife management.  Current funding priorities include projects that: 

  • Support the implementation of ongoing long-term monitoring of Pacific flyway shorebirds. Refer to Pacific Flyway Shorebird Plan for more details: https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/management/PASCS_final_medres_dec2016.pdf
  • Initiate a comprehensive survey of delta communities on subsistence use and take of shorebirds.
  • Facilitate acquisition of information and data to increase understanding of Y-K Chinook and Chum salmon. For example, projects may: 
    • Facilitate detection of population level changes in stock characteristics (i.e., age/sex/length/genetic composition).  
    • Inform conservation actions and fill information gaps necessary to ensure long term viability of the stock complex, including the status of forage fish populations. 
    • Increase understanding of the composition of returning runs to improve effectiveness of management decisions in-season, to develop run re-constructions, and develop outlooks for returns in future years.
    • Support monitoring and escapement projects and improvements in practices, projects and models for the conservation and management of Chinook and Chum salmon.
    • Enhance hydrologic information essential to identify, monitor and conserve key salmon resources. 

Cook Inlet

NFWF seeks to support a comprehensive watershed management approach to conserving fish and wildlife in the Cook Inlet geography. Focal species for this geography include Chinook, Sockeye and Coho salmon and migratory shorebirds. Current funding priorities include projects that:

  • Assess threats to shorebird breeding, staging and non-breeding habitat, and projects which lead to the conservation and protection of these habitats.
  • Facilitate acquisition of improved hydrologic and other biological information essential to identify, monitor, and conserve key Pacific salmon and forage fish resources, including projects that result in updates to the National Hydrography dataset, improve habitat connectivity, acquire in-stream flow reservations, increase miles in the Anadromous Waters Catalog and restore and conserve Pacific salmon habitat.
  • Strengthen monitoring and enhance escapement models and practices/projects for the management and conservation of Pacific salmon.  

Alaska North Slope

The primary efforts in the Alaska North Slope are for the purpose of conducting fish and wildlife population and habitat assessment, monitoring, research and related activities to address ecological process changes occurring in the Arctic environment (in the State of Alaska) on the North Slope and also potential for increased human activity, including but not limited to projects designed to study and/or benefit the natural resources or wildlife therein.  Project can involve, but are not limited to species such as polar bear, walrus, caribou, seabirds and Arctic breeding shorebirds. Funding emphasis is on mitigating direct threats to species populations, filling key knowledge gaps that lead to proactive management actions and measurable conservation benefits, as well as evaluating the compatibility of human activities and sustainable fish and wildlife populations, particularly in light of environmental change.

Projects Outside Primary Focal Areas

Pacific salmon protection, enhancement and restoration actions through the Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships and/or other watershed-based partnerships with USFWS, USFS, BLM, are a priority.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to choose from for reporting. We ask that applicants select the most relevant metrics from this list for their project (all possible program metrics are shown in the table below).  If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact Jonathan Birdsong (jonathan.birdsong@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
​Monitoring ​# streams/sites being monitored ​Enter the number of streams/sites being monitored.
​Monitoring ​# monitoring programs ​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway.
​Fishing effort ​Catch per unit effort ​Enter the catch per unit effort.
​Reduction in by-catch ​# of individuals saved ​Enter the number of individuals saved through use of safer gear or practices.
​Reduction in by-catch ​# of fishing season days ​Enter the number of days open to fishing within the regular season.
​Fish passage improvements ​# passage barriers rectified ​Enter the number of fish passage barriers rectified.
​Research ​# studies reported to management ​Enter the number of studies completed whose findings are reported to management.
​Research ​# research studies completed ​Enter the number of research studies completed.
​Building institutional capacity ​# FTE with sufficient training ​Enter the number of staff or full-time equivalents with sufficient training and skills engaged in conservation activities.
​Tool development for decision-making ​# tools developed ​Enter the number of tools developed.
​Management or Governance Planning ​# plans developed ​Enter the number of plans developed that had input from multiple stakeholders.
​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people with knowledge ​Enter the number of people demonstrating a minimum level of knowledge, attitudes, or skills.
​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people with changed behavior ​Enter the number of individuals demonstrating a minimum threshold of behavior change.​
​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people reached  ​Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities.
​Economic benefits ​% profitability ​Enter the percent of revenue represented by profit (profit/total revenue).
​Economic benefits ​# jobs created ​Enter the number of jobs created.
​Economic benefits ​# jobs sustained ​Enter the number of jobs sustained.​


ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities. 
  • Ineligible applicants include: businesses, unincorporated individuals, international organizations.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to cover permanent federal employee salary expenses.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to supplement shortfalls in government agency budgets.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND MATCH

Approximately $400,000 in grant funds are available for this cycle. Grant awards generally range in size from $50,000 to $150,000, although grants greater than $150,000 can be considered on a case by case basis.

Projects must have a minimum match of 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind contributions.  While federal contributions cannot be used as match, all potential sources contributions, including federal, should be listed in the application for consideration during the review process.  

Additional information on funding policies, including financial documents required from applicants, types of eligible matching contributions, and NFWF’s policy on indirect costs, can be found on NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page (http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants/Pages/home.aspx).

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria.

  • Project Need:  Describe the species and/or habitats at risk or potentially at risk, a description of its historic and current range, and its importance as part of the greater ecosystem, as well as the factors that have caused a decline in the species population(s) or habitat.  Discuss how the project complements or advances the goals of relevant regional strategic conservation plans, including, but not limited to, Alaska’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and strategic plans prepared by Alaska-based Fish Habitat Partnerships, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Alaska Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, USFWS Coastal and Partners for Fish and Wildlife strategic plans, the Pacific Shorebird Flyway Strategy and USFWS priority species plans.  Also, if you have received NFWF funding from the AFWF in the past, how would this proposal complement past funded projects.
  • Long Term Conservation Outcome(s):  Discuss the quantifiable/measurable long-term outcome(s) for species and/or habitats that will be achieved, including how the project will restore ecosystem resilience in species populations (if applicable) and/or habitat.  Identify how the outcome(s) are consistent with the goals of the relevant strategic conservation plans.
  • Activities:  Elaborate on the primary activities that will be conducted through the proposed project.  Explain how these activities address conservation challenges, what new opportunities will arise from the activities and how they will lead to desired conservation outcome(s) described above.  Describe how these activities relate to relevant regional strategic conservation plans and conservation needs.  Discuss how this project either initiates or fits into larger efforts in the watershed, or, if this is a stand-alone project, how it will succeed in and of itself in restoring, protecting, or enhancing the species population(s).
  • Methodology:  Describe how each activity will be implemented and the anticipated timeline.
  • Evaluation/Monitoring:  Describe the strategy for monitoring and evaluating project results, including specifics on how success will be defined and measured.  Please note any challenges or limitations you anticipate in interpreting anticipated results.  Describe the monitoring plan, including those activities that will take place after completion of this grant.  If possible, identify how post-grant monitoring will be funded.  If this project is a continuation or expansion of an existing project, describe the status and results/outcomes achieved to date.
  • Partnership: An appropriate partnership exists to implement the project and the project is supported by a strong local partnership that leverages additional funds and will sustain it after the life of the grant. Identify proposed partners, if known (including potential or contemplated subawards to third party subrecipients of the applicant), the roles they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships.  (Note: a project partner is any local community, non-profit organization, tribe, and/or local, state, and federal government agency that contributes to the project in a substantial way and is closely involved in the completion of the project.)

OTHER

  • Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Budget Instructions cost categories.  Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable (OMB Uniform Guidance).
  • Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not necessarily constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively.  When procuring goods and services, NFWF recipients must follow documented procurement procedures which reflect applicable laws and regulations.  
  • Publicity and Acknowledgement of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s financial support for the grant in press releases, publications and other public communications.  Recipients may also be asked by NFWF to provide high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.
  • Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable.  Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF.  A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.
  • Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act. As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with additional Federal, state or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.
  • Federal Funding – The availability of federal funds estimated in this solicitation is contingent upon the federal appropriations process. Funding decisions will be made based on level of funding and timing of when it is received by NFWF.

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information (Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund).

  • Full proposals are due on January 3, 2018 by 11:59 PM Eastern time
  • Awards will be announced by March 16, 2018 

HOW TO APPLY

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. Go to easygrants.nfwf.org to register in our Easygrants online system.  New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login).  Enter your applicant information. 
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application.  Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

A PDF version of this RFP can be downloaded at Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund.

A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded at Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund.  Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page (http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants/Pages/home.aspx).

For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact: 

Jonathan Birdsong
Director, Western Regional Office
Jonathan.birdsong@nfwf.org
(415) 243-3101

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:

Easygrants Helpdesk
Email:  Easygrants@nfwf.org​
Voicemail:  202-595-2497
Hours:  9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET, Monday-Friday.
Include:  your name, proposal ID #, e-mail address, phone number, program you are applying to, and a description of the issue.

 

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