Recovery and Sustainment Program - 2015 RFP

Overview

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the Department of Navy and Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCIEAST-MCBCL), is soliciting proposals to the Recovery and Sustainment Program (RASP) which seeks to conserve, restore and manage habitats for the federally endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) in the Coastal North Carolina region. The objective of the program is to enhance the biological function of RCW populations within the Coastal North Carolina Primary Core Population (CNCPCP) to ensure that the military mission of MCIEAST-MCBCL is sustained and preserved over time.

Project selections will support a range of activities that support the RCW recovery goals of the CNCPCP including permanently protecting land, developing resource management plans, and restoring, managing and maintaining protected lands (as defined in 2003 RCW Recovery Plan).

In support of the MCIEAST-MCBCL’s efforts to maintain and enhance operational and training flexibility, the Navy, Marine Corps and NFWF entered into an agreement to: (1) acquire real estate interests on parcels of land located in the CNCPCP region; (2) develop and implement natural resources management plans on selected parcels; (3) develop operational and financing plans that support long-term natural resource management on selected parcels; and (4) develop long-term monitoring and maintenance protocols for selected parcels. This work will be conducted on parcels on which the Navy holds an appropriate interest, acquired either through this program or other Navy agreements entered into with the landowner pursuant to 10 USC 2684a.

Geographic Focus

The CNCPCP for RCWs largely overlaps with the Onslow Bight landscape. This landscape has important remnants of rich longleaf pine forests and a mosaic of other natural communities that once carpeted the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Longleaf spans a wide range of soil and hydrological conditions in the region and they often mix with pond pines and even cypress in well-burned areas with a highly diverse groundcover layer (up to 50 species of plants per square meter). In this region, wet pine savannas grade into fire-dependent pocosin communities, which are characterized by peat soils and dense shrub layer overtopped by pond pine and other trees.

Many species depend on the mature pine, fire-dependent ecosystems within the Onslow Bight including the RCW. Efforts to restore the RCW have been ongoing and good progress has been made. The work funded through this initiative will seek to enhance those efforts in this rich and biologically diverse ecosystem.

To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within the RASP Project Area depicted in Map 1.

Map 1. RASP Project Area

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

The RCW RASP supports the recovery of the RCW CNCPCP populations by conserving, restoring and maintaining their habitat, including the longleaf pine ecosystem. All proposals must specifically address how projects for which funds are requested will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of program goals.

The RASP seeks to engage state and local agencies, non-profit organizations and private interests in the protection, restoration and maintenance of their lands in order to increase populations of RCWs in the CNCPCP.

Through this program, the partners are soliciting proposals from landowners and/or land managers to support the following activities:

  1. Determine, using the best available science, the ability of state, local or private lands to support RCW; 
  2. Plan for the protection, restoration and maintenance of their lands to support new RCW populations now and into the future;
  3. Conveyance of a perpetual conservation easement to NFWF to ensure land use restrictions are in place to support long-term habitat protection (this easement will be assigned to the Navy);
  4. Restore and/or maintain lands to achieve the federal property habitat conditions established in the 2003 RCW Recovery Plan and future revisions;
  5. Support long-term maintenance activities on their land, such as prescribed fire, to ensure protection of RCW habitat in perpetuity; and, 
  6. Provide for adequate monitoring and reporting to ensure conservation and recovery goals are being achieved.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Eligible and Ineligible Entities
    • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions, businesses, unincorporated individuals.
    • Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies.
    • All applicants must hold a clear title to the property or ensure that the property owner holds clear title prior to execution of a conservation easement.
  • Ineligible Uses of Funds
    • NFWF funds and matching contributions (if applicable) 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, funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.

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:

Property Location: Properties submitted for consideration through this program must be located in the program area as identified in Map 1.

Perpetual Conservation: Property owners participating in this program must agree to protect their land in perpetuity by conveying a conservation easement (conservation easement template) to NFWF (this easement will be assigned to the Navy). Property owners will be compensated for this easement conveyance in accordance with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions. Evidence of clear title is required prior to execution of the conservation easement, and the easement will be recorded in County records.

Scale of Properties: Properties are of a scale that can ensure the long-term health of RCW. These properties are preferably in a single ownership and preferably larger in size.

Conservation Outcomes: Properties participating in the program should be able to provide either immediate habitat for the establishment of RCW or be biologically capable of supporting new RCW in the future by investing in restoration and management over time. For detailed description of RCW federal property habitat requirements as well as federal property restoration and management requirements please refer to the 2003 RCW Recovery Plan.

Land Management Plans: Property owners/land managers must commit to develop a land management plan that meets the federal property habitat requirements in the 2003 RCW Recovery Plan.

  • Applicants invited to submit a full proposal will develop a land management plan, which will serve as the full proposal and includes the following elements: (1) description of the property, providing conservation status and status of current habitat; (2) maps showing potential RCW habitat and RCW partition locations; (3) short-term (up to five [5] years) management activities, with annual tasks defined; (4) long-term management activities; (5) monitoring plan; and (6) the annual costs associated with implementing the plan. A full proposal land management plan template will be provided to applicants selected to submit a full proposal.
  • If selected, the property owner/land manager will be responsible for the long-term management of the property, with the Navy contributing all or a portion of the costs for implementing the land management plan.

Annual Implementation and Reporting: Property owners/land managers must commit to implementing land management plans in perpetuity, including adhering to annual reporting requirements and accommodating periodic site visits, at least annually.

In-Kind Services/Matching Fund Contributions: Projects that have in-kind services or matching funds contributions are encouraged and will be more competitive.

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.

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 Cost Allowability Circulars as applicable.

OTHER

a. General: Applicants will be required to indicate the status of all permits required to comply with federal, state or local requirements.

b. 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).  

c. 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 award.

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change.  Please check this website for the most current dates and information.

  • Pre-Proposal Due Date: January 15, 2015,11:59pm, Eastern
  • Invitations for Full Proposals Sent: Mid-February, 2015
  • Full Proposal Due Date: June 4, 2015,11:59pm, Eastern 
  • Review Period: June – August, 2015
  • Awards Announced: August-September 2015

HOW TO APPLY

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. 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.
  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 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:

Jon Scott
Manager, Southeast Region
(202) 595-2609
jonathan.scott@nfwf.org

 

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:

Easygrants Helpdesk
Email:  Easygrants@nfwf.orgVoicemail: 202-595-2497
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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