Northern Rockies Program 2017 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to conserve, restore and connect the habitats of the Northern Rockies. The goal of the Northern Rockies: Great Migrations and Crucial Corridors Program (Northern Rockies Program) is to work with local partners to ensure a future for the impressive wildlife of the region by helping to secure landscape connectivity, improving wildlife habitats on both public and private lands and ensure safe passage across highways and other manmade barriers for migratory species.

The Northern Rockies Program will award approximately $800,000 in grants in 2017. Major funding comes from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and private funders.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

The Northern Rockies Program is focused on a landscape covering northwest Wyoming, western Montana, central and northern Idaho, and northeastern Washington. 

NFWF has developed two local business plans:  Cabinet Yaak in Montana and Idaho, and Working for Wildlife in Okanagon Valley, Washington.  Projects located in those areas are expected to measurably advance the goals of those business plans.  Projects from the larger region should address the conservation goals as outlined in the Northern Rockies: Great Migrations and Crucial Corridors Business Plan​.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how projects for which funds are requested will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of program goals. The Northern Rockies Program seeks projects that will address at least one of the following priorities: 

  1. Implementation of the Cabinat Yaak (MT/ID) and Working for Wildlife (WA) Business Plans. Projects that restore habitat for species detailed in those plans and allow for migrations and other wildlife movement across these landscapes will be given priority.
  2. Projects across the larger Northern Rockies region that address landscape-scale connectivity for wildlife. Projects that address mule deer, grizzly bear, wolverine and Canada lynx are of particular interest. In addition, projects that include stream restoration or other riparian focused work in areas of importance to native trout species including Yellowstone cutthroat and bull trout are a priority.
  3. Protecting existing habitat connections, known migratory pathways, forest or rangeland habitat and stream reaches that are critical for the full life cycle of aquatic or terrestrial species.  The addition of aquatic connectivity represents a new interest on the part of NFWF in this program.
  4. Re-establishment of wildlife connections, through restoration and/or improved management of forest land habitat. Privately owned forestlands are of particular interest as they often represent a small portion of the overall land ownership in many areas of the Northern Rockies, with a disproportionate impact on many wildlife species.
  5. Projects that address highways and other man-made impediments to wildlife movement across landscapes in the northern Rockies. Numerous locations have been identified as bottlenecks for wildlife movement and are areas of high conflict with human populations, largely due to wildlife/vehicle collisions.
  6. Projects that aim to reduce human/wildlife conflicts through proactive measures. Of particular interest are efforts to reduce conflict between grizzly bears, black bear, wolves and elk and the agricultural community. Examples of this type of project include livestock range riders, carcass composting, as well as fencing or other measures to reduce interactions with attractive nuisances such as chicken coops and fruit trees.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Northern Rockies Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to select from for future 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 Chris West, Rocky Mountain Region Director (chris.west@nfwf.org​) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

​Project Activity​ ​Recommended Metric ​Additional Guidance
​Outreach/Education/ Technical Assistance ​# People targeted ​Enter the number of people targeted by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities.
​Conservation Easements ​ # Acres protected under easement ​Enter the number of acres protected under long-term easement (permanent or >30 yrs). In the Notes section of this metric please indicate the type of lands being protected within the easement.
​Fish passage improvements ​# Passage barriers rectified ​Enter the number of fish passages barriers rectified. In the Notes section of this metric please indicate what type of barrier is being removed (i.e. dam, culvert, etc.).
​Fish passage improvements ​# Miles of stream opened ​Enter the number of miles of stream opened.
​Land restoration ​# Acres restored ​Enter the number of acres restored. In the Notes section of this metric please indicate what type of restoration is being conducted (i.e. acres replanted, acres of invasive species removed, acres of forest treated).
​BMP implementation for fencing improvements ​# Miles of corridor reconnected ​Enter the number of miles of migration corridor reconnected.
​Improved management practices ​# Acres of private land under improved management ​Enter the number of acres under improved management on private lands. In the Notes section of this metric please indicate the type of lands with improved management (i.e. ranchland, forestland).
​Improved management practices ​# Acres of public land under improved management ​Enter the number of acres under improved management on public lands. In the Notes section of this metric please indicate the type of lands with improved management (i.e. ranchland, forestland).
​BMP implementation for road improvements ​ # Miles of road improved ​Enter the number of miles of road improved.


ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible entities include non-profit 501(c) organizations, U.S. Federal government agencies, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions.
  • Ineligible applicants include 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 Northern Rockies Program will award approximately $800,000 to address the program priorities outlined in this RFP.  NFWF expects to make between 5 and 10 grants in this round, with grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. Grants made under this RFP must be completed no later than December 31, 2020.

  1. Local Business Plan Implementation Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and local governments working to implement the Cabinet Yaak and Working for Wildlife Business Plans. Projects must have a minimum match of 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind (50% of total project costs). Larger match ratios will be considered 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.
  2. Landscape Connectivity Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations, local governments, universities, and federal and state agencies to demonstrate innovative approaches to habitat protection, restoration, and reducing human and wildlife conflict.  Projects must have a minimum match of 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind (50% of total project costs). Larger match ratios will be considered 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.

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.

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 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.

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 Northern Rockies Program​ page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information.

​​Full Proposal Due Date
​September 5, 2017 by 11:59pm EST
Review Period
​September – November 2017
​​Awards Announced
​December 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 here.

A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your Easygrants application. This document can be downloaded here. Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on NFWF’s Applicant Information webpage.

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

Chris West
Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office
chris.west@nfwf.org
303-222-6484

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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