Easements: Limited funding is available to facilitate
targeted conservation easement projects that protect existing, high quality
shortleaf pine habitat and/or riparian forest, or key sites targeted for
shortleaf pine ecosystem and/or riparian forest restoration that are part of
larger forest restoration proposals. Preference will be given to projects that
protect priority sites adjacent to, or near, proposed shortleaf pine and/or
riparian forest restoration sites; are embedded within, or adjacent to, public
or other permanently protected lands; and/or will protect working forests.
Requests for conservation easement funding should not exceed 20% of the total
proposal request and should be for transaction costs, such as surveys,
appraisal, environmental report, etc. Proposals that include requests for
transaction costs exceeding 20% of the total proposal request will be
considered on a case-by-case basis for applications that can clearly
demonstrate a need for additional funding. For applicants considering a
proposal with greater than 20% for transaction costs, please contact Jon Scott
at email@example.com to discuss prior to submitting
PROJECT METRICS AND OUTCOMES
The Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund seeks to support the following conservation outcomes as outlined in the Business Plan for the Forestland Stewards Initiative. Specific five-year goals (2013-2017), detailed in the business plan, include:
Restore 3,500 acres of shortleaf pine forest.
Improve management of 50,000 acres of shortleaf pine and other upland woodland/savanna forest habitat.
Restore/enhance 2,000 acres of riparian forest for wildlife habitat and water quality.
Protect 1,000 acres of working forests and/or riparian forests through voluntary conservation easements.
Improve management of 1,000 miles of stream and associated stream habitat.
Increase populations of northern
bobwhite quail and prairie warbler, as well as fish, amphibians and
other aquatic species, which are representative of healthy, sustainable
woodland/savanna forests and freshwater systems.
Engage more than 1,000 private
landowners in shortleaf pine and riparian forest outreach, training and
technical assistance activities that contribute to the restoration,
enhancement and wildlife objectives described above, and support working
forests by demonstrating their environmental and socioeconomic benefits.
To better gauge progress
on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data
provided by multiple grants, the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund has
a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to choose from for
reporting. We ask that applicants select only 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 Jon Scott to discuss acceptable alternatives.
Eligible and Ineligible Entities
Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions. U.S. Federal agencies, businesses and
unincorporated individuals are encouraged to partner with applicants, but are
not eligible to submit an application.
Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies, businesses, unincorporated individuals and 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.
FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND MATCH
The Cumberland Plateau
Stewardship Fund will award approximately $625,000 - $850,000 in grants in
2017. Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $200,000, depending on the
overall scale of the project. This program has one annual application cycle and
awards approximately 4-6 grants per year.
Project Period: Anticipated completion time for
funded projects typically will be 24 months following finalization of a grant
agreement. Projects may be a discrete part of a longer-term project, provided
there are definable outcomes for the proposed phase of the overall effort. The
project narrative must include a clear timetable or schedule for project
completion. Significant project deliverables and outcomes are expected to be
achieved in year one.
Project start and end dates should
define the period during which all proposed work is accomplished, all requested
funds are spent and all matching funds are spent or applied.
Match Requirement: Projects must have a minimum
match of 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind, but larger match ratios and matching
fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more
competitive . Applicants are encouraged to describe federal
partner contributions as well in the proposal narrative, although those
contributions may not count toward the minimum match.
Work on Public Lands:
Work performed on Federal, state, and local public lands are eligible across
the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund geography. Projects that include
federal lands also must include work on private lands as part of the broader
project scope. Please contact Jon Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss prior to submitting
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.
Program Goals and Priorities – Project contributes to the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund’s overall acreage and species goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics that will be tracked and measured to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities outlined in the Request for Proposal.
Conservation Plan and Context – Describe how the project advances the Business Plan for Forestland Stewards Initiative. Proposals also should highlight how efforts will
expand new or existing restoration and conservation initiatives, such as the Shortleaf Pine Initiative and Shortleaf
Pine Restoration Plan, to maximize large-scale ecosystem function.
Critical Species Benefits – In addition to meeting key habitat needs for shortleaf pine/shortleaf-oak savanna ecosystem indicator species (bobwhite quail and prairie warbler), describe any significant benefits to other at-risk, threatened or endangered woodland/savanna dependent species, as well as aquatic species, referencing any species recovery plans or other conservation plans outlining species goals as appropriate. Preference will be given to projects that include plans for wildlife population surveys.
Technical Merit – Project is technically sound and feasible, and the proposal sets forth a clear, logical and achievable work plan and timeline. Project engages appropriate technical experts throughout project planning, design and implementation. We recommend that applications involving private lands be shared with the appropriate NRCS State Conservationist for input and guidance before submission (View NRCS State Conservationist contacts).
Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Detailed Budget Instructions cost categories. Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable (OMB Uniform Guidance).
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.)
Long-term Sustainability – Project will be maintained to ensure benefits are achieved and sustained over time. This should include how future funding will be secured to implement necessary long-term monitoring and maintenance activities, as well as support necessary capacity. On private lands, demonstrate a commitment to keep lands in shortleaf pine savanna or riparian forest over the long-term, through past history of management, forest management plans outlining long-term management strategies, existing or pending easements, or other voluntary commitments such as US Fish and Wildlife Service Candidate Conservation Agreements, etc.
Monitoring – Project includes a plan for monitoring progress during and after the proposed project period to track project success and adaptively address new challenges and opportunities as they arise.
Letters of Support:
Letters documenting the support/contributions of all other project partners are strongly encouraged.
Transferability – Project has potential and plans to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or to be integrated into government programs and policies.
Communication – Project includes a detailed plan to communicate information about the project to appropriate audiences.
Funding Need – Project establishes a clear need for the funds being requested, and demonstrates that activities would not move forward absent funding.
Past Success – Demonstrate a proven track record of applicant and partnership success in implementing conservation practices with specific, measurable results.
General: Applicants will be required to indicate the status of all permits required to comply with federal, state or local requirements.
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
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.
Funding Requirements –
Projects selected to receive Federal funding may be subject to requirements
under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and National
Historic Preservation Act. Documentation
of compliance with these regulations must be approved prior to initiating
activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project
site(s). Applicants should budget time
and resources to obtain the needed approvals. Federally-funded
projects must operate in compliance with the OMB
Uniform Guidance as applicable to the applicant.
Federal Funding Requirements: Projects selected to receive Federal funding may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Historic Preservation Act. Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved prior to initiating activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project site(s). Applicants should budget time and resources to obtain the needed approvals. Federally-funded projects must operate in compliance with the OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable to the applicant.
Permits: Successful applicants will be required to provide sufficient documentation that the project expects to receive or has received all necessary permits and clearances to comply with any Federal, state or local requirements. Where projects involve work in the waters of the United States, NFWF strongly encourages applicants to conduct a permit pre-application meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers prior to submitting their proposal. In some cases, if a permit pre-application meeting has not been completed, NFWF may require successful applicants to complete such a meeting prior to grant award.
Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund Program page for the most current dates and information.
Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017 by 11:59pm Eastern
Review Period: February 2017 – May 2017
Awards Announced: June or July 2017
HOW TO APPLY
All application materials must be submitted online through NFWF's Easygrants system.
Go to www.nfwf.org/easygrants 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.
Once on your homepage, click the "Apply for Funding" button and select this RFP's "Funding Opportunity" from the list of options.
Follow the instructions 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.
A PDF version of this RFP can be downloaded here.
A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded here.
Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s "Applicant Information" page.
For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact:
Manager, Southern Regional Office
For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:
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.
 For the purposes of the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund, shortleaf pine may include both shortleaf pine and mixed shortleaf-oak forests, where shortleaf pine makes up a substantial component of the forest stand.
 Applicants interested in submitting a proposal for no-till projects in Kentucky should contant Jon Scott to discuss - email@example.com
 Implementation of no-till with tobacco growers is limited to landowners/producers in Kentucky.
 Note that landowner contributions being used as match for a Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund grant must be outside of the amount already written into any agency financial assistance contract as a cost-share contribution.