Lahontan Cutthroat Trout 2017 Request for Proposals

Pre-Proposal Due Date:   Thursday, June 1, 2017 by 11:59 PM  Eastern Time
Full Proposal Due Date:   Thursday, August 10, 2017 by 11:59 PM  Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

The Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi, or LCT) has a long evolutionary history in the Lahontan Basin, and is highly distinct from other sub-species of cutthroat trout. It is the only salmonid native to the Lahontan basin. LCT express a variety of life histories including resident stream, migratory, and lake-dwelling forms. Today, the sub-species is imperiled by multiple factors and has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1975. Only 8.6% of the historical stream habitat is currently occupied, and self-sustaining native populations remain in less than 1% of historic lake habitat. Non-native fishes have been implicated in most of the LCT extirpations in the last two decades and are a primary source of decline for most remaining populations. Additionally, the majority of remaining conservation populations inhabit small, isolated stream reaches occupying 8 km or less of small stream habitat.
 
The goals of NFWF's LCT initiative are to protect existing pure populations from contact with non-native trout, sustain LCT populations in lakes, connect isolated populations into larger, more resilient populations, and increase LCT angling opportunities. The LCT initiative will award up to $900,000 in grants in FY2017. Major funding for the LCT initiative comes from the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within three major basins:
  • Western Lahontan Basin comprised of the Truckee, Carson, and Walker River watersheds. Of the total funds available for the LCT initiative, $500,000 is designated for the benefit of at-risk natural desert terminal lakes and associated riparian and watershed resources in the Western Lahontan Basin.
  • Northwestern Lahontan Basin comprised of the Quinn River, Black Rock Desert, and Coyote Lake watersheds.
  • Eastern Lahontan Basin comprised of the Humboldt River and tributaries.
 LCT RFP picture.png

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

Proposals must specifically advance one or more of the key strategies of the LCT business plan (available online: http://www.nfwf.org/lct/Documents/lct-business-plan.pdf). These include:
 
Reduce threat of non-native fish
Eradicate non-native fishes from occupied and historic LCT habitats, and improve management regulations. 
 
Native population reestablishment, stronghold/metapopulation reconnection and barrier management
Reestablish LCT populations from appropriate genetic source stock to bolster range-wide representation and promote redundancy to ensure the persistence of key elements of diversity.
 
Genetic and population monitoring
Establish and support consistent, frequent, and statistically-rigorous LCT monitoring range-wide to track the trajectory of the species as a whole and determine factors related to the persistence or extirpation of local populations.
 
Initiate flow restoration efforts
Develop and sustain flow restoration efforts using willing seller transactions and other voluntary/cooperative measures to improve flow-limited habitat in LCT streams.
 
Riparian and habitat improvement
Utilize tools such as riparian fencing, prescriptive grazing and management, water development (piping and guzzlers, etc.) and nutrient/forage supplementation to manipulate livestock away from riparian areas, monitoring habitat improvements, and resting pastures to allow for habitat recovery.
 
Initiative Coordinator and Safe Harbors biologist
Support an LCT Initiative Coordinator to:  1) provide essential on-the-ground contact and collaboration among the Initiative partners and various agencies and entities involved in LCT restoration and recovery, 2) coordinate and guide Initiative proposals to make sure proposed activities are in keeping with Initiative goals and time-lines, and 3) implement field activities such as monitoring. 
 
Conservation hatchery management
Develop a hatchery genetics and management plan to support the creation of LCT conservation broodstocks and guide stocking management for the benefit of LCT.
 

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the LCT initiative has a list of metrics in Easygrants for full proposal applicants to choose from for future grant 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 Femke Freiberg (femke.freiberg@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.
 
​Project Activity ​Recommended Metric ​Additional Guidance
​Population ​# metapopulations ​Enter the number of metapopulations
​Population ​# populations ​Enter the number of populations
​Population ​Miles of habitat occupied ​Enter the number of miles of habitat occupied by the species
​Removal of invasives  ​Miles restored ​n​ter the number of miles restored
​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
​Building institutional capacity ​​Building institutional capacity ​Enter the number of of organizations contributing to the initiative's conservation goals
Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people reached  ​Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities
​Volunteer participation ​# volunteers participating ​Enter the number of  volunteers participating in projects
​Invasive animal or predator removal/ Fencing nests from predators ​Miles with goals met ​Enter the number of miles with predation reduction goals met
​Monitoring ​# monitoring programs ​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway
​Monitoring ​# streams/sites being monitored ​# streams/sites being monitored
​Monitoring ​Miles being monitored ​Enter the number of miles being monitored
​Research ​# research studies completed ​Enter the number of research studies completed
​Restoration  ​Miles restored ​Please use this metric to indicate the number of stream miles in safe harbor agreements
​Water acquisitions or leases ​Acre feet of water added ​Enter the number of additional acre feet of water
​Water acquisitions or leases ​CFS of cold water leased [qualifiers= annual, short-term (1-10yrs), long-term (>10yrs)] ​Enter the cubic feet per second of cold water leased
​Water acquisitions or leases ​CFS of cold water purchased ​Enter the cubic feet per second of cold water purchased
 

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible 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 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

Up to $900,000 in grant funds are available in FY2017. Applicants should provide non-federal match of at least $1 for every $1 of NFWF grant funds requested. Eligible non-federal matching sources can include cash, in-kind donations, and/or volunteer labor that is directly related to the project proposed for funding.

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.
 
Program Goals and Priorities – Project contributes to the Program’s overall habitat and species conservation goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities.
 
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 to ensure activities are technically-sound and feasible.
 
Transferability – Project has potential and plan 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.
 
Conservation Plan and Context – The project advances an existing conservation plan or strategy.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Past Success – Applicant has a proven track record of success in implementing conservation practices with specific, measurable results.
 
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.  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 work with the applicable federal agency to obtain the needed approvals.  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.
 
Quality Assurance – If a project involves significant monitoring, data collection or data use, grantees will be asked to prepare and submit quality assurance documentation (www.epa.gov/quality).  Applicants should budget time and resources to complete this task.
 
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.
 
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 Lahontan Cutthroat Trout page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information.
 
​Pre-Proposal Due Date  Thursday, June 1, 2017 by 11:59 PM ET​
Invitations for Full Proposals Sent ​Friday, June 23, 2017
​​Full Proposal Due Date ​Thursday, August 10, 2017 by 11:59 PM ET
Awards Announced ​November 2017
 

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

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.

Application process and online application assistance:
Emily Graham
Coordinator, Program Administration
Email: emily.graham@nfwf.org
Phone: 202-857-0166

Programmatic priorities and project-related questions:
Femke Freiberg
Manager, California Water Programs
Email: femke.freiberg@nfwf.org
Phone: 415-243-3104
 

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