2013 Mountain West Migratory Bird Habitat Conservation Fund Request for Proposals

Conserving Migratory Bird Habitat in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon

Full Proposal Due Date: August 15, 2013 5:00PM Pacific time

OVERVIEW

In June 2010, Ruby Pipeline LLC prepared a Voluntary Conservation Plan for Migratory Birds associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Ruby Pipeline project in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon (see map below). The Voluntary Conservation Plan was developed in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to further the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats relative to the pipeline development. The USFWS manages and protects the nation’s native migratory birds under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Voluntary Conservation Plan set forth conservation measures that Ruby Pipeline agreed to voluntarily implement to restore and conserve migratory bird habitat in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon. However, bird habitat conservation projects designed to benefit greater sage-grouse and/or Sagebrush Steppe habitat are not eligible under this initiative as these conservation needs were addressed in a separate conservation agreement Ruby negotiated with the states.

One of the conservation measures included in the Voluntary Conservation Plan was that Ruby Pipeline would contribute funds to be used for the conservation of migratory bird habitat through the acquisition of lands (through fee title or perpetual conservation easements), implementation of habitat restoration, and long-term management of the lands for the benefit of migratory birds, as well as migratory bird habitat enhancement, management and improvement. A total of $1 million is available to award as grants to projects that will achieve one or more of these objectives consistent with the criteria outlined below.

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS

The following project selection criteria will be the basis for selecting projects to be funded:

  • Only projects that occur in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon are eligible for funding.  Within these states, only project proposals that occur within the Wyoming Basin, Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, Central Basin and Range, Northern Basin and Range, and Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills ecoregions will be eligible for funding.  (See US EPA Level III Ecoregions at http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ecoregions/level_iii_iv.htm)
  • Within these ecoregions, projects that address the following habitat types and incorporate the following characteristics will receive preference for funding:
    • Riparian
    • Riparian Wetlands/Riparian-associated Wetlands
    • Aspen Forest (especially where this occurs within a conifer forest matrix)
    • Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (applies strictly to true Pinyon- Juniper habitat type and not to areas of sagebrush steppe or other habitat types impacted by juniper encroachment)
    • Agricultural (specifically irrigated pastures and wet meadows; does not include row crop areas/dryland farming areas)
  • Projects occurring within the Bird Habitat Conservation Areas as identified by the Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) (see http://iwjv.org/2013-implementation-plan), Important Bird Areas as designated by the National Audubon Society, or other important bird conservation areas identified by bird conservation initiatives and NGOs (i.e. State Partners In Flight plans, State Wildlife Action Plans, etc.)
  • Projects that demonstrate landscape-scale conservation benefits as opposed to smaller-scale projects. 
  • Projects that address priority bird species from the IWJV Implementation Plan  (see http://iwjv.org/priority-species-list)
  • For land acquisition projects, proposals that include conservation easements will be preferred over those that include fee title purchase.  Proposals for fee title land acquisitions will receive a lower priority than proposals for all other eligible uses of the project funds.
  • Projects must be scientifically sound and based on the best available science, and proposals should provide a clear statement of attainable goals and objectives.
  • Projects are encouraged to include an implementation monitoring component to determine if the project was completed, and whether the project met the stated migratory bird habitat conservation objective it was designed to accomplish.

FUNDING POLICIES

Eligible applicants include local, state, and federal  agencies (excluding USFWS see below), tribal governments, special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities.  Individual property owners interested in applying will need to partner with an eligible organization type to serve as applicant and fiscal sponsor.

The total funding available is $1 million. Awards considered for funding must meet project selection criteria above.

Applicants are required to provide matching contributions of $1 for every $1 of grant funds requested. Matching contributions can be federal or non-federal and must be cash; in-kind match (i.e., contributed labor, equipment, etc.) will not count toward the match requirement.

No part of the grant or matching funds may be used for:

  • Research, studies, bird monitoring, or other purposes not directly related to conservation of migratory bird habitat.
  • Land acquisition for the USFWS, projects on USFWS lands, or any projects that directly benefit USFWS.
  • Projects addressing Sagebrush Steppe habitat (because that habitat type is the focus of a separate Conservation Agreement between Ruby Pipeline and the states). However, projects that would provide some indirect benefits to adjacent Sagebrush Steppe habitat would be eligible for funding if the intent of the project is to benefit an eligible habitat type (see list above) that lies adjacent to Sagebrush Steppe habitat.
  • Litigation expenses or lobbying activities.
  • Permanent federal employee salary expenses.
  • Basic planning, outreach, or education projects without an "on-the-ground" component.

Additional information on funding policies, including financial documents required from applicants and the Foundation’s policy on indirect costs, can be found on the Foundation’s website at:  http://www.nfwf.org/Pages/grants/applicants.aspx

APPLICATION PROCEDURE AND TIMELINE

  • Full proposals are due on Thursday, August 15, 2013
  • Awards will be announced by November 30, 2013

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.  Hard-copy applications will not be considered for funding.  To submit a proposal, please follow the following steps:

  1. Go to http://www.nfwf.org/easygrants to register in our Easygrants online system. (If you already are a registered user, use your existing login.)  Enter your applicant information.
  2. On your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select the Mountain West Migratory Bird Habitat Conservation Fund funding opportunity.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your proposal.  Applications may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission, up until the application deadline.  It is imperative for Easygrants users to disable their browser’s pop-up blocker prior to beginning the application process.  The following link contains access to other useful information for applicants:  http://www.nfwf.org/Pages/grants/applicants.aspx.

For more information or questions about the application process, please contact:

Cara Rose, Assistant Director, Western Partnership Office
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 950
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 417-8700 x 6008
cara.rose@nfwf.org