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 America's Great Outdoors: Landscape Conservation Stewardship Program RFP 2012

Online Application Must Be Completed By: Tuesday, July 31st

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in cooperation with its federal partner, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, announces a new initiative to develop community-based partnerships that further the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and other natural resources in distinct landscapes.   The initiative brings together public and private partners to replicate successful community-driven regional landscape conservation coalitions.

In 2012, approximately $180,000 will be available for matching grants nationwide. 

Program and Application Information

The program will provide competitive grants for the creation and capacity of new and fledgling coalitions, including:

  • capacity building for new and existing coalitions
  • developing outcomes to measure conservation success on the landscape 
  • mentoring and training sessions for new coalitions
  • fostering coordination between local communities and federal natural resource agencies

NFWF will implement a capacity building grant program for new and existing community-based landscape conservation coalitions.  Funding will be awarded through competitive grants for capacity building in the community, mentoring and training, developing outcomes to measure conservation success, and consolidating lessons learned into a ‘Great Outdoors America’ roadmap to assist new community-based coalitions.  Organizations receiving funding through this solicitation are required to coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other relevant state and federal agencies to ensure that the strategies being developed and implemented compliment broader federal goals.  Projects will be solicited through two categories:

Category One: Training and Mentoring by Existing Conservation Coalitions (Approximately $25,000 - $55,000 available)

NFWF will award grants in the amount of $10,000-$40,000 to support existing landscape coalitions or entities with experience in landscape conservation mentoring to conduct mentoring and training for newly-formed conservation coalitions.  It is anticipated that competitive grants under this sections will include:

  • Workshops/Conferences - Development by established landscape conservation coalitions of a training workshop(s) or conference(s) where new landscape conservation coalition staff and volunteers can learn about how to set up and grow their initiative.
  • Proposals must include sessions on how best to work with federal and state land management agencies, how to strengthen ties within the community, and how to achieve financial stability. 
  • One-on-One Mentoring – Proposal for a representative(s) of an established landscape conservation coalition to visit and work with a newly formed conservation coalition to assist them in growing their capacity.  This can include the development of business plans, assistance in meeting with local and federal officials, etc. 

Category Two: Capacity Building for Newly Formed Landscape Conservation Coalitions ($125,000 - $150,000 available)

NFWF will support grants in the range of $25,000 - $75,000 to support the creation and/or capacity growth of new regional community-driven coalitions to support landscape scale habitat protection and restoration. 

  • Proposals should clearly describe the conservation challenges needing to be addressed in the landscape, the efforts currently underway to build community level support for addressing these challenges, and how the proposed funding will be used to help the entity expand upon these efforts.
  • Projects may include outreach programs aimed at increasing organizational capacity to serve the Refuge(s) and the surrounding area, business plan development or other strategic planning costs, membership program development, board/leadership development, community outreach efforts, brochure and newsletter development, logo design, office equipment, etc.
  • All grants should include a minimum of $3,000 in the travel budget to support the attendance at a training workshop or conference held by an existing landscape conservation coalition.

Proposal Evaluation

The most competitive proposals will include:

  • Nexus with a National Wildlife Refuge, National Wildlife Refuge Complex or proposed National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Geographic area with significant conservation value
  • Working lands component
  • Quantifiable and meaningful  outcomes;
  • Plans for long-term sustainability of the coalition;
  • Diverse partner collaboration and support.
  • Proven track record
  • Some level of matching funds

Eligible Applicants

Non-profit organizations, tribal groups

This grant program is not intended to support Joint Ventures, federally managed Landscape Conservation Coalitions or existing Friends group activities.

Typical Grant Size

$10,000 - $50,000

Grant Period

Project may extend 12-24 months.

Matching Requirement

While no match is required, match of non-federal cash and/or in-kind contribution will make a proposal more competitive.   Partnerships with corporations and foundations are strongly encouraged.  Amount and diversity of matching funds will be given consideration as part of recommended awards.

Timeline:

Full Proposals Due: July 31st, 2012 (received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)

Grant Awards Announced: October 1, 2012

On-line Proposal Application:

When you are ready to begin the application process, go to www.nfwf.org/Easygrants to register in our Easygrants online system (if you are already a registered user, use your existing login).  Enter your applicant information and then select [this project isn’t about Connecting Youth to the Outdoors, but NFWF should provide the language here] from the list of programs and follow the instructions.  Once you get started, you may save your application in progress and return another time to complete and submit it.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the NFWF staff representative to discuss potential projects prior to applying.  Applicants are also encouraged to work with FWS field staff when developing proposals to ensure coordination with existing agency programs and activities.

Staff Representative:  Teal Edelen, teal.edelen@nfwf.org

Related Information:

There are successful examples of landscape-based coalitions that have fundamentally changed the conservation of the lands around them by focusing on community, land health and conservation.

  • In Montana, the “Blackfoot Challenge” has brought together more than 50 non-profit entities, Federal agencies, foundations, and corporations to conserve the 1.5 million acre landscape that anchors their communities.  The result is increased protection of working landscapes, healthier watersheds, smarter growth and development, and perhaps most importantly, bringing together citizens around a common goal of healthy lands and wildlife.
  • The Malpai Borderland Group was formed in 1994 as a coalition led by ranchers and landowners, and has now protected more than 75,000 acres of wildlife habitat and improved the health of their working landscapes.
  • The ACE Basin Task Force is a unique partnership of state and federal governmental representatives, non-profit entities, and private landowners that was established in 1988 to protect one of the largest undeveloped estuaries remaining on the East Coast.