America the Beautiful Challenge 2022 Request for Proposals

2022 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS 

Applicant Webinar: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time
Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, July 21, 2022, by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), through anticipated cooperative agreements from the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is pleased to announce the launch of the America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC) 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP). The ATBC vision is to streamline grant funding opportunities for new voluntary conservation and restoration projects around the United States. This Request for Proposals is a first step toward consolidating funding from multiple federal agencies and the private sector to enable applicants to conceive and develop large-scale, locally led projects that address shared funder priorities spanning public and private lands.

In year one of the ATBC approximately $85 million will be awarded in nationwide funding to advance the America the Beautiful Initiative and its goals to connect and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend. In the first year, ATBC will seek to fund projects across the following themes:

  1. Conserving and restoring rivers, coasts, wetlands and watersheds 
  2. Conserving and restoring forests, grasslands and other important ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks 
  3. Connecting and reconnecting wildlife corridors, large landscapes, watersheds and seascapes 
  4. Improving ecosystem and community resilience to flooding, drought and other climate-related threats
  5. Expanding access to the outdoors, particularly in underserved communities

Collectively, these themes allow applicants to develop landscape-level ATBC proposals that address conservation and public access needs that showcase cumulative benefits to fish and wildlife, carbon sequestration and storage benefits, engage with and benefit underserved communities, support community access to nature, and help safeguard ecosystems through conservation, resilience-focused and nature-based solutions. 

Projects funded through the ATBC will advance the principles underlying the America the Beautiful Initiative, as described in the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Report:

  1. Pursue a collaborative and inclusive approach to conservation
  2. Conserve America’s lands and waters for the benefit of all people
  3. Support locally led and locally designed conservation efforts
  4. Honor Tribal sovereignty and support the priorities of Tribal nations
  5. Pursue conservation and restoration approaches that create jobs and support healthy communities
  6. Honor private property rights and support the voluntary stewardship efforts of private landowners and fishers
  7. Use science as a guide
  8. Build on existing tools and strategies with an emphasis on flexibility and adaptive approaches

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

ATBC is a nationwide program. Projects throughout the U.S., U.S. territories and Tribal Nations are eligible for funding. Projects can be on public lands, Tribal lands, and private lands, and ideally span multiple landownership boundaries. Locations will be prioritized where projects are guided by existing conservation plans as well as the program priorities listed below.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

ATBC will prioritize proposals that implement voluntary large-scale, on-the-ground conservation activities or otherwise lead to on-the-ground implementation through capacity building, community engagement, planning and project design. The overarching goal is to advance existing landscape conservation plans and/or propose to knit together a diverse stakeholder partnership that develops and/or implements new conservation plans. As part of this, projects should address priority species and/or habitat conservation actions identified in existing plans or other species recovery or conservation plans.1 Projects that are informed by Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) and promote Tribal co-stewardship are also encouraged. 

Competitive proposals will increase interagency and intergovernmental collaboration and address more than one of the program priorities below. 

  • Benefit At-Risk Fish, Wildlife and Plant Species. Conserve and restore habitat to improve ecosystem function and biological diversity, as identified by conservation plans, ITK, or emerging information for priority fish, wildlife and/or plant resources, such as threatened and endangered species, species of greatest conservation need (including game species). 
  • Expand Habitat Connectivity. Conserve and restore priority habitat and stopover areas along key migratory routes; conserve, restore or improve fish passage; conserve or restore lands and/or waters that are critical to habitat connectivity; or expand and enhance wildlife corridors that contribute to larger-scale conservation efforts (e.g., removing and right-sizing culverts, removing encroaching trees from grassland and sagebrush ecosystems, rehabilitating areas damaged by fire, treating exotic/invasive vegetation to improve habitat values, or voluntary conservation easements to strengthen habitat connectivity).
  • Provide a Range of Ecosystem Services. Demonstrate and quantify a range of ecosystem services restored (e.g., improving stream flow for aquatic resources, watershed health, carbon sequestration, restoration of Tribal subsistence resources).
  • Strengthen Ecosystem and Community Resilience. Conserve and restore natural systems that help ecosystems and/or communities respond to, mediate and recover from disturbances such as floods, wildfire, drought (e.g., enhancing a wetland to improve coastal resilience, invasive species prevention or removal to reduce wildfire risk, restoring fire resilient stand structure and species composition in fire prone forests, water conservation to address drought, expansion of wetlands to protect from flooding, grassland restoration to promote natural prairie ecosystems).
  • Expand Public and Community Access to Nature. Create, improve or expand opportunities for public access and recreation, in particular for underserved communities that lack access to the outdoors, in a manner consistent with the ecological needs of fish and wildlife habitat. Projects should be conducive to high-quality recreational experiences, such as biking, birding, boating, fishing, hiking, outdoor education, cultural activities, hunting and wildlife viewing. Projects should be predominantly nature-based in application. Hard infrastructure, such as parking lots and visitor center amenities, are not eligible under this funding opportunity.
  • Engage Local Communities. Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that incorporate outreach to communities, particularly underserved communities in accordance with the Administration’s Justice40 initiative, foster community engagement, and pursue collaboration with farmers, ranchers, Tribal Nations, states or other land managers to produce measurable conservation benefits. When possible, projects should be developed through community input and co-design processes, and incorporating ITK when possible. Additionally, projects should engage community-level partners (e.g., municipalities, NGOs, community organizations), as appropriate, to help design, implement, and maintain projects to secure maximum benefits for communities, maintenance, and sustainability post-grant award. 
  • Support Tribally Led Conservation and Restoration Priorities. Consistent with the Administration’s commitment to honoring Tribal sovereignty and advancing equity for Indigenous people, applicants are encouraged to prioritize projects that uplift Tribal and Indigenous-led efforts. These efforts may include but are not limited to Tribal co-stewardship of federal or other lands, restoration of Tribal homelands, access to and/or restoration of sacred sites, and elevation of ITK.  
  • Contribute to Local or Tribal Economies. Implement conservation projects that, as a co-benefit, directly contribute to local economies and underserved communities. For example, projects could help expand tourism or recreational economies, promote regenerative agriculture, or contribute to working lands and/or community or Tribal forestry. Applicants are encouraged to estimate the economic benefits that are expected because of the project (e.g., number of jobs sustained or created). 
  • Contribute to Workforce Development:  Develop the next generation of conservation professionals, including through support for national service, youth and conservation corps engaged in conservation and climate-related work. Projects that develop the restoration workforce, in particular with AmeriCorps and 21st Century Conservation Service Corps programs, are encouraged.


PROJECT METRICS

All applications will be completed in NFWF’s online Easygrants system. To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Easygrants application includes a list of standard metrics options for describing project impacts and reporting outcomes. We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics associated with the landscape level work being proposed from this list for their project (program metrics are shown in Appendix 1). If you think an applicable metric has not been provided, please contact Rachel Dawson (Rachel.Dawson@nfwf.org) or Sydney Godbey (Sydney.Godbey@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY, GRANT CATEGORIES, AND MATCH

Approximately $85 million will be available for 2022, with four categories of grants, of which ATBC expects to award at least 10% for Tribal grants and 3% to U.S. territories. Funding is being provided to NFWF through cooperative agreements, or similar mechanisms, that allow for agency participation. Funding in this RFP is contingent upon final execution of the agency awards to NFWF. Please also refer to the specific Department/Agency level funding priorities found in Appendix 2:

  1. States, Territories, and Tribal Implementation Grants: Grants ranging from $1 million to $5 million will be awarded to states, U.S. territories and Tribal-affiliated organizations and governments to implement projects that address the program priorities on public, Tribal, and/or private lands. Landscape scale restoration requests beyond $5 million may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact NFWF program staff to discuss. Projects should be completed within four years of award and partnerships with NGOs and localities through subawards are encouraged.
    • Grants under this category are contingent upon awards by DOI
  2. Planning, Collaboration and Engagement for States, Territories and Tribes: Grants of $200,000 to $1,000,000 will be awarded to states, U.S. territories, Tribal governments, and Tribal-affiliated organizations for projects that enhance local capacity to implement future on-the-ground actions through community-based assessments, partnership building, planning, project design, and other technical assistance-oriented activities. Projects in this category should include multiple partners, be at a significant scale for the landscape/watershed/seascape, clearly demonstrate how efforts will lead to implementation projects, and be completed within approximately one year of award.
    • Grants under this category are contingent upon awards by DOI
  3. Grants to Buffer and Benefit Public Lands: Grants ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million will be awarded for projects that result in direct, on-the-ground conservation actions that benefit National Forests and DoD facilities. Projects should be targeted toward outcomes identified in a conservation implementation plan and should be completed within two to four years of award. DoD funds will be prioritized to Sentinel Landscapes or areas that advance the military mission (e.g., the Pacific region or directly supporting an installation) and projects must be in the vicinity of or ecologically related to a DoD installation or range. DoD funds may not be used for work directly on military lands. USFS funds will support invasive species detection, prevention, and treatments benefiting USFS lands, as well as collaboratively-developed fish passage and water quality projects on Federal and Tribal lands.
    • Grants under this category are contingent upon awards by DoD and USFS
  4. Private Forests, Rangeland and Farmland Grants: Grants ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 will support outreach and engagement with private landowners to advance voluntary conservation efforts on working lands that align with the NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife Framework (e.g. sagebrush, grasslands, bobwhite quail, northeast turtles, golden-winged warbler). Projects should be completed in two to three years.
    • Grants under this category are contingent upon awards by NRCS

The ATCB program is expected to have an annual application cycle.

Project Period: Anticipated completion time for funded projects typically will be 12–18 months for community engagement and design projects and 24–48 months for implementation projects following finalization of a grant agreement. Projects that can be implemented faster and at scale are preferred. Significant progress with project implementation is expected to be achieved in year one, including interim deliverables. Project start and end dates should define the period during which all proposed work is accomplished, all requested funds are spent, and all matching funds are spent or applied. Recipients of design projects awarded through this round of ATBC are encouraged to apply for implementation-ready projects in future RFP cycles. It is important for applicants who look to phase in other implementation projects over time, to articulate the phases in which they anticipate implementing to ensure the review panel has a complete understanding of the project breadth.

Matching Funds: Non-federal match helps demonstrate broad support for the project and may be required by the federal funding requirements. The following is the minimum match (in-kind and cash) requirements requested from potential applicants:

DoD Conservation and Restoration Funds

Recipient Type  Federal cost share Non-federal cost share
All entities  100% of costs Not required


DOI Conservation and Restoration Funds

Recipient Type Federal cost share Non-federal cost share
States  90% of costs 10% of costs, of which at least 2.5% must be cash
Indian Tribes & territories 97% of costs 3% of costs, of which at least .75% must be cash

 

NRCS Technical Assistance Funds 

Recipient Type   Federal cost share   Non-federal cost share
All entities  50% of costs 50% of costs


USFS Conservation and Restoration Funds

Recipient Type Federal cost share   Non-federal cost share
All entities  80% of costs    20% of costs 


Applicants who are unable to meet these minimum requirements are still encouraged to apply and to proactively contact NFWF staff before submission. Where possible, NFWF will work with potential applicants to help meet these minimum requirements. Applicants are encouraged to describe federal partner contributions in the proposal narrative, although those contributions will not count toward match except for DoD REPI funds which count as non-federal funds for match purposes. Higher match ratios and contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged. Matching contributions may include cash, in-kind contributions of staff and volunteer time, work performed, materials and services donated, or other tangible contributions to the project objectives and outcomes. In addition, eligible indirect costs (that would not be paid with requested grant funding) may be applied as match. To be eligible, matching contributions must be spent or applied during the period of performance indicated in the application. For additional guidance on match, please see Appendix 3. 


ELIGIBILITY

Based on legislative funding authorities, the DOI funding in this round can only support states, territories, Tribal governments, and Tribal-affiliated organizations. 

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • State government agencies, territories of the United States, and Indian Tribes2 are eligible to apply for all four grant categories.
  • Non-profit 501(c) organizations, local governments, municipal governments, and educational institutions are eligible to apply for grants in categories (3) Grants to Buffer and Benefit Public Lands, and (4) Private Forests and Farmland. 

Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies, businesses, unincorporated individuals, and international organizations. For additional details on individual funders restrictions and priorities, please see Appendix 2.


Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • Federal funds and matching contributions may not be used to procure or obtain equipment, services, or systems (including entering into or renewing a contract) that uses telecommunications equipment or services produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities) as a substantial or essential component, or as critical technology of any system. Refer to Public Law 115-232, section 889 for additional information. 
  • Program funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • Federal 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. 

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated by review teams representing the relevant funders and technical experts based primarily on the extent to which they meet the following three criteria: 

Program Goals and Priorities – Project has specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project builds off of an existing conservation or recovery plan, addresses one or more of the program priorities listed on page two, and aligns with agency funding priorities as specified in Appendix 2.

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 Budget Instructions cost categories. Federally funded projects must be in compliance with 2 CRF 200 as applicable.

Additional factors that will be considered when reviewing proposals include:

Partnership and Community Impact – The applicant organization partners with, elevates, and engages collaboratively with or directly represents diverse local community members, leaders, community-based organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement the proposed project. This ensures long-term sustainability and success of the project, integration into local programs and policies, and community acceptance of proposed restoration actions. Projects in line with Justice40 will be prioritized. These include projects where non-traditional partners or communities are engaged—or are applicants themselves—thereby benefitting underserved communities and broadening the sustained impact from the project.  Efforts to develop capacity in these non-traditional partners are encouraged.

Cost-Effectiveness – Cost-effectiveness analysis identifies the economically most efficient way to meet project objectives. Project includes a cost-effective budget that balances performance risk and efficient use of funds. Cost-effectiveness evaluation includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of effective direct/indirect costs across all categories in the proposed budget according to the type, size and duration of project and project objectives. Project budgets will be compared to similar projects to ensure proposed costs across all budget categories are reasonable for the activities being performed and the outcomes proposed. 

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.

OTHER  

Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not 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. Tribes may utilize their own procurement policies and procedures.

Equipment – Applicants are encouraged to rent equipment where possible and cost-effective or use matching funds to make those purchases. NFWF acknowledges, however, that some projects may only be completed using NFWF funds to procure equipment.  For requests for equipment purchases, please provide sufficient justification in the budget section of the proposal. 

Publicity and Acknowledgment of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s, and the federal funding partner’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 will be made as reimbursable payments or advances based on imminent need.  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. Please see 2 CFR 200.305 regarding payments.

Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA; state and federal), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and Clean Water Act (CWA).  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. Projects on Tribal lands must comply with all Tribal laws, regulations, and policies.

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. The costs associated with compliance with NEPA, ESA, NHPA, and CWA should be included in the overall project budget.

Environmental Services – NFWF funds projects in pursuit of its mission to sustain, restore and enhance the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. NFWF recognizes that some benefits from projects may be of value with regards to credits on an environmental services market (such as a carbon credit market). NFWF does not participate in, facilitate, or manage an environmental services market nor does NFWF assert any claim on such credits. 

Intellectual Property – Intellectual property created using NFWF awards may be copyrighted or otherwise legally protected by award recipients. NFWF may reserve the right to use, publish, and copy materials created under awards, including posting such material on NFWF’s website and featuring it in publications. NFWF may use project metrics and spatial data from awards to estimate societal benefits that result and to report these results to funding partners. These may include but are not limited to: habitat and species response, species connectivity, water quality, water quantity, risk of detrimental events (e.g., wildfire, floods), carbon accounting (e.g., sequestration, avoided emissions), environmental justice, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Applicant Demographic Information – In an effort to better understand diversity in our grantmaking, NFWF is collecting basic demographic information on applicants and their organizations via a voluntary survey form (available in Easygrants). This information will not be shared externally or with reviewers and will not be considered when making grant decisions. For more details, please see the tip sheet and the Uploads section of Easygrants.

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change.  Please check the program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information at www.nfwf.org/challenge

Applicant Webinar  Thursday, May 19, 2022, 2–4 PM ET
Full Proposal Due Date  Thursday, July 21, 2022
Review Period  July–November 2022
Awards Announced November 2022

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. Please disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process.
  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 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.

Before submitting a proposal, applicants are encouraged to discuss project ideas with NFWF’s staff. All questions on applications and agency funding priorities should be directed to NFWF. NFWF will coordinate with funding partners to answer applicant questions regarding this RFP.


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

Rachel M. Dawson (she/her)
Program Director | National Programs
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
202-595-2643 direct
Rachel.Dawson@nfwf.org

Syd Godbey (she/her)
Program Manager | National Programs
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
202-595-2612 direct
Sydney.Godbey@nfwf.org

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.

 

FOOTNOTES

1 Example of existing conservation or recovery plans include NFWF’s Conservation Landscapes; Migratory Bird Joint Ventures and their plans such as the Saltmarsh Sparrow Conservation Plan; Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Sagebrush Conservation Strategy; NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife Conservation Frameworks for Great Plains and Sagebrush, Bobwhite Quail and Gopher Tortoise; Collaborative Landscape Conservation Designs such as Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy and Nature’s Network; state-driven conservation efforts such as State Wildlife Actions Plans, Coastal Master Plans, and the State Action Plans for Big Game Migrations; Tribal Conservation Priorities; and local collaboratives such as the Black-foot Challenge, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Crown of the Continent Landscape Conservation Design, Salmon Superhighway, Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program, Southeast Conservation Blueprint, and DoD’s Sentinel Landscapes. Similarly, applicants should incorporate science-based tools and data into their proposal where applicable. Examples include the USFS’s Watershed Condition Classification (WCC) and Terrestrial Condition Assessment (TCA), Nature’s Network Conservation Design, and WAFWA’s Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT).  This list is not exhaustive, but rather indicative of the types of plans and strategies that can be integrated into proposals.

2The term “Indian Tribe” has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. § 5304).  “Indian tribe” or “Indian Tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.  25 U.S.C. § 5304(e). 


APPENDIX 1: PROJECT LEVEL METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Easygrants application includes a list of standard metrics options for describing project impacts and reporting outcomes. We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics associated with the landscape level work being proposed from this list for their project.
      
        
Habitat Restoration Metrics

Activity  Metric  Guidance
Habitat Management Acreage of project footprint Enter the total number of acres impacted by one or more project conservation activities. Only count an acre once, even if multiple activities or treatments will occur on that acre during the project.
   Acres under improved management   Enter the number of acres under improved management and indicate the types of practices in the NOTES section. Only count an acre once, even if multiple activities or treatments will occur on that acre during the project.
  BMP implementation for nutrient or sediment reduction - Acres with BMPs Enter the # of acres with BMPs. In the NOTES section, indicate the type of BMP(s) (e.g. manure storage) and the method of calculating reduction. DO NOT include managed grazing.
   Acres of Managed Grazing  Enter the number of acres with managed grazing (i.e., promoting plant growth above and below ground, improving wildlife habitat, and maximizing soil carbon through grazing approaches that optimize stocking rates, livestock rotations, utilization rates, and plant rest and recovery, including development of associated grazing infrastructure). Please describe the grazing practices in the NOTES section.
  Fuels management treatment (mechanical/hand) – Acres treated Enter # acres of vegetation treated by mechanical or hand treatments for wildfire risk reduction. In the NOTES, indicate dominant forest type, average frequency (in years) for future treatments, and whether the removed vegetation will be left on site to decompose (Yes/No).
  BMP implementation for stormwater runoff – Acres with BMPs   Enter the number of acres with Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce and manage stormwater runoff.  Please include size of area contributing runoff to the BMP.
Habitat Restoration  Land restoration-Acres restored  Enter # acres of habitat restored. In the NOTES, specify landcover prior to restoration (barren, cropland, grass, shrub) and post-restoration (broadleaf, conifer, redwood, grassland, shrubland, marsh, wet meadow, tidal marsh, swamp).
   Land restoration-Acres of field buffers created  Enter the number of acres of FIELD BUFFER created. In the NOTES section, specify the landcover type prior to planting (barren, cropland, grassland, shrubland), and the dominant vegetation being planted (grassland, deciduous forest, shrubland, wooded wetland).
  Land restoration-Acres of trees planted  Enter the number of acres of TREES planted. In the NOTES section, specify the landcover type prior to planting (barren, cropland, grassland, shrubland), and the average number of trees per acre planted.
  BMP implementation for prescribed burns-Acres burned Enter # acres with prescribed burning. In the NOTES, specify if private or public land, average frequency (in yrs) for future burning, dominant vegetation burned (forest, shrubland, grassland, cropland, Phragmites marsh). If forest, note if trees were planted in past 10 yrs (Yes/No) & type of forest.
  Removal of invasives-acres restored  Enter the number of acres restored by removal or control of INVASIVE SPECIES. In the NOTES section, specify: the vegetation type being removed (herbaceous, shrub, or tree), average frequency (in years) the treatment is expected to occur in the future, and whether the removed vegetation will be left on site to decompose (Yes, No).  Projects should include post-removal monitoring and follow-up control efforts as necessary to ensure that invasive species do not reinvade.
Habitat Conservation  Acres protected under long-term easement (permanent or >30-yr)  Enter the number of acres protected under long-term easement (permanent or >30-yr). Assuming the specific parcel(s) has been identified, in the NOTES indicate what % of natural land cover would have been cleared in the absence of the easement(s).    


       
Watershed Restoration Metrics    

Activity Metric Guidance
Aquatic Organism Passage Improvements  # passage barriers rectified Enter the number of aquatic organism passage barriers rectified. In the NOTES section indicate what type(s) of barrier(s) are being removed or replaced (e.g., culvert, dam).
   Miles of stream opened Enter the number of miles of previously inaccessible stream habitat opened. In NOTES list the targeted species.    
 
Stream and Riparian Habitat  Wetland restoration-Acres restored Enter the number of acres of WETLAND habitat restored. In the NOTES section, specify the landcover type prior to and following restoration (barren, cropland, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, shrubland, grassland, herbaceous wetland, wooded wetland, wet meadow).
  Riparian restoration-Miles restored  Enter total number of riparian forest miles restored. If you are restoring wetlands use the acres of wetland restored metric.
  Floodplain restoration-Acres restored   Enter # of floodplain acres restored. In the NOTES, indicate % of vegetation on the pre-project site (0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, 81-100%) and the dominant vegetation being restored (Broadleaf, Conifer, Redwood, Shrub, Grass, Marsh, Wet meadow, Swamp). 
  Wetland restoration-Acres restored Enter # acres of WETLAND (not riparian or instream) habitat restored. In the NOTES, specify landcover prior to restoration (Marsh, Tidal marsh, Wet meadow, Swamp) and indicate % of vegetation on pre-project site (0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, 81-100%).     
  Miles of instream habitat restoration  Enter the number of miles of instream habitat restored
Coastal Habitat  Wetland restoration-Acres restored  Enter # acres of WETLAND (not riparian or instream) habitat restored. In the NOTES, specify landcover prior to restoration (Marsh, Tidal marsh, Wet meadow, Swamp) and indicate % of vegetation on pre-project site (0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, 81-100%).
  Beach habitat quality improvements-Miles restored Enter the number of beach/shoreline miles restored
Green Stormwater Infrastructure  Volume (gallons) of stormwater storage added  Enter the volume (in gallons) of stormwater storage added through green infrastructure improvements. Include projection of gallons for stormwater captured or infiltrated annually
  Square feet of impervious surface removed or retrofitted Enter the square footage of impervious surface removed or retrofitted
  Square feet of green infrastructure installed Enter the square footage of green infrastructure installed
  Number of trees planted Enter the number of trees planted (include species, tree size, planting density and anticipated total acres of tree planting)
Invasive Species Control Removal of invasives-Acres restored Enter the number of acres restored by removal or control of INVASIVE SPECIES, including any re-treatments. In the NOTES section, specify: the vegetation type being removed (herbaceous, shrub, or tree), average frequency (in years) the treatment is expected to occur in the future, and whether the removed vegetation will be left on site to decompose (Yes, No).


                  
Water Quality and Quantity Metrics    

Activity  Metric Guidance
Water Quality BMP implementation for nutrient or sediment reduction-Lbs N avoided (annually) Enter the amount of nitrogen prevented from entering system annually and indicate method of calculating reduction in NOTES section.
  BMP implementation for nutrient or sediment reduction-Lbs P avoided (annually) Enter the amount of phosphorous prevented from entering system annually and indicate method of calculating reduction in NOTES section.
  BMP implementation for nutrient or sediment reduction-Lbs sediment avoided (annually) Enter the amount of sediment prevented from entering system annually and indicate method of calculating reduction in NOTES section.
Water Quantity Improved irrigation practices-Acre feet of water conserved Enter the number of acre feet of water conserved and indicate method of calculating water conservation in the NOTES section.


            
Migrations Metrics    

Activity  Metric Guidance
Migrations and Corridors  Miles of fencing improved or removed  Specify the number of miles of derelict fencing removed or improved 
  # road crossing improvements Enter the number or wildlife road crossings improved    
Planning, research, monitoring  #  monitoring studies completed 

Enter the number of monitoring studies completed

 Enter the number of studies used for monitoring and development of future projects 


        
Public Access and Community Engagement Metrics    

Activity  Metric Guidance
Public Access  Green Infrastructure - acres of greenspace  Enter the acres of neighborhood green space and habitat created or improved
  # of acres opened to public access Enter the number of miles of trails or river walks developed or improved
  # of miles of stream/river opened to public access  
  Green Infrastructure – Number of public access points developed/improved   Enter the number of public access points developed/improved  
Community Engagement   # of volunteer hours   Enter the # of volunteer hours in this project.
  # of organizations contributing to the initiative’s conservation goal  Enter the number of organizations contributing to the initiative’s conservation goal.
   # of people targeted  Enter the number of people targeted by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities. In the NOTES, if applicable, note the number of people in the Historically Underserved or Special Emphasis categories.
  # of people reached Enter the number of people who responded to an offer of outreach, training, or technical assistance. This number should be a subset of the # of people targeted. In the NOTES, if applicable, note the number of people in the Historically Underserved or Special Emphasis categories.


          
Economic Metrics    

Activity Metric Guidance
Jobs     # jobs created  Enter the number of new jobs created.If applicable, in the NOTES section report the number of new jobs created for people in the Historically Underserved, Tribal or Special Emphasis categories. 
  # jobs sustained Enter the number of jobs sustained. If applicable, in the NOTES section report the number of jobs sustained for people in the Historically Underserved or Special Emphasis categories.

         

APPENDIX 2: AGENCY FUNDING DETAILS

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) is providing $5 million to fund projects that support the goals of an existing Sentinel Landscape, advance conservation goals in the Pacific, or address installation-level off-base species and habitat goals. This funding may be counted as “non-federal” matching funds for the project. Projects must meet the requirements of this RFP and propose a project in the vicinity of or ecologically related to a DoD installation or range. DoD funds cannot be used to support projects directly on military lands (i.e., “inside the fence line” of the DoD installation or range). The proposal narrative should clearly describe the encroachment challenges, environmental hazards or resource concerns that threaten the military mission, the conservation or nature-based solution proposed to address those threats, and how the project will maintain and improve military resilience and directly benefit defense mission capabilities of the DoD installation or landscape the project is associated with. Applications involving military installation projects should provide evidence demonstrating coordination with the appropriate military installation(s). 


Department of the Interior

Funding from the Department of the Interior (DOI) can only be awarded to state government agencies, territories of the United States, and Indian Tribal governments for implementing voluntary ecosystem restoration projects on public and private land, with a priority for cross-boundary projects. Other entities are encouraged to partner with States, Territories, and Tribal governments as subrecipients of a larger project they submit. Approximately, $70 million of DOI funding will be made available to support projects that advance the goals of this RFP and align with existing or developing landscape or species conservation plan. 


U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is providing $7 million to advance the goals of Challenge program. This includes $5 million to support invasive species detection, prevention and treatments benefiting USFS lands. An additional $2 million will support collaborative-based landscape-scale restoration projects that restore water quality or fish passage on federal or Indian forest land or rangelands. USFS gives priority to project proposals that would result in the most miles of streams being restored for the lowest amount of Federal funding.


Natural Resources Conservation Service 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $1 million of technical assistance funding through this RFP to support outreach and engagement with private landowners to advance voluntary conservation efforts on working lands that align with a Working Lands for Wildlife Framework or the landscape goals of this program in partnership with another funding agency. NRCS is also committed to aligning additional financial assistance funds through its state offices to projects that advance the goals of the America the Beautiful Challenge. Applications involving private lands should be shared with the appropriate NRCS State Conservationist for input and guidance before submission. 

 

APPENDIX 3: MATCH REQUIREMENTS

The non-Federal match required for a recipient to be eligible under this program varies by recipient type, and the source of funds, as follows:  

DoD Conservation and Restoration Funds

Recipient Type  Federal cost share Non-federal cost share
All entities  100% of costs Not required


DOI Conservation and Restoration Funds

Recipient Type Federal cost share Non-federal cost share
States  90% of costs 10% of costs, of which at least 2.5% must be cash
Indian Tribes & territories 97% of costs 3% of costs, of which at least .75% must be cash

 

NRCS Technical Assistance Funds 

Recipient Type   Federal cost share   Non-federal cost share
All entities  50% of costs 50% of costs


USFS Conservation and Restoration Funds

Recipient Type Federal cost share   Non-federal cost share
All entities  80% of costs    20% of costs 


The non-federal share of eligible recipient award costs must include cash that meets or exceeds the percentages shown above. The match requirements may be met in all or in part by contributions from a third party, including in-kind contributions of staff and volunteer time, work performed, materials and services donated, or other tangible contributions to the project objectives and outcomes. Recipients may also voluntarily attribute some or all of their allowable indirect costs as matching funds; however, you may only charge to the award the indirect costs calculated against the allowable direct costs charged to the award.  

The uniform requirements for matching funds are described in 2 CFR 200.306. Match contributions must be necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project or program objectives. To be allowable, the recipient's funds and all third-party contributions, including cash and in-kind contributions, must meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306. The value of third-party in-kind contributions must be determined in accordance with the standards in 2 CFR 200.306.   

Federal partner contributions, besides DoD Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) funds, do not qualify to be used as match under this program. However, applicants should identify any Federal partners and their contributions to the project in the project narrative, as those partnerships show support for this program’s priority for collaborative projects.  

Applicants who are unable to meet these minimum requirements are still encouraged to apply and to proactively contact NFWF staff before submission. Where possible, NFWF will work with potential applicants to help meet these minimum requirements.