The Short Grass Prairie Stewardship Fund is funded by partners sharing an interest in conserving and restoring the short grass prairie ecosystem in focal “action” areas of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado (see map below). The Fund provides grants on a competitive basis for projects that benefit species dependent upon the short grass prairie ecosystem and, in particular, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken. Support for the program is provided by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Bureau of Land Management, and other partners.
Funding Priorities: Support for a wide variety of conservation actions in any of the action areas identified in the five focal states, including:
Restoration and enhancement of core short grass prairie habitat, including agricultural (including grazing) lands, abandoned and defunct oil and gas pads, and other areas that have been affected.
Development of corridor connections between currently occupied areas for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken to help ensure viable, sustainable populations.
Land acquisition (fee title or permanent easements) that provides long-term protection for key tracts critical to short grass prairie conservation.
Development of decision support tools that aid in decision-making.
Other conservation activities that are directly aimed at conservation or enhancement of short grass prairie or recovery of Lesser Prairie-Chicken.
Technical assistance to private landowners to help ensure sustainable short grass prairie resources, including playa lakes and subsurface water supplies.
In addition to these priorities, dedicated funding from NRCS is available for the following specific activities: (a) increase technical assistance capacity to implement NRCS’s Landscape Initiatives and contributing Farm Bill programs and NFWF’s Keystone Initiatives within identified action areas; and (b) meet the Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP’s) technical assistance needs in high sign-up and/or high CRP workload areas. Added capacity provided should be directed toward:
Typical grants will range from $50,000 to $250,000.
Period of Performance and Matching Contributions
Project period of performance is up to 2 ½ (two and one-half) years. Grantees will be required to provide matching funds, of non-federal origin, on a minimum of a 1:1 basis. Larger match ratios will make proposals more competitive.
Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations, educational institutions, tribal governments, and state or local units of governments (e.g. state conservation agencies, counties, townships, cities, conservation districts, utility districts, drainage districts, etc.). Individuals and for-profit firms are not eligible for grants through the Fund. Federal government agencies are not eligible for grants under the NRCS technical assistance program.
Criteria for Competitive Proposals
Projects must offer direct benefits for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken and, preferably, other imperiled wildlife. To be competitive projects must:
Describe clear objectives for enhancing the viability of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations, metrics for project performance that include a measure of the extent to which the project will increase the prairie-chicken population, and measurable outcomes linked to project activities.
Ineligible Use of Funds
Funds granted under this program may not be used to support political advocacy, lobbying or litigation.
In addition, grantees may not use awards from the Fund to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements (e.g., permit conditions, mitigation, settlement agreements) of any local, state or federal permit. However, funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.
Grantees may only use grant funds for indirect costs if they meet the following conditions:
The grantee organization has a federally-approved indirect rate; and,
Indirect costs do not exceed 15% of the total grant request (even when the federally-approved rate is greater than 15%).
Deadlines and Application Procedures
Pre-Proposals are due May 16, 2013 at 5 pm EDT. Late applications will not be accepted. All applications must be submitted on-line through NFWF’s EasyGrants system. To start an application, please click on the following link: http://www.nfwf.org/easygrants. New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting an application. Applications may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission up to the application deadline. It is imperative for Easygrants users to disable their browser’s pop-up blocker prior to beginning the application process.
The anticipated timeline for this grant round is as follows:
Pre-proposals due: May 16, 2013
Full Proposals invited: Late June, 2013
Full Proposals Due: August 1, 2013
Late Summer 2013: Follow up with applicants for additional information, as needed
November 2013: Grant Awards Announced
Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Mike Chrisman at email@example.com.
NFWF Guidance for Applicants including an outline of content of baseline pre-proposal application: