Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative 2022 Request for Proposals

Applicant Webinar: Thursday, May 19, at 9:00 AM Chamorro Time
Full Proposal Due Date: Wednesday, June 15, by 11:59 PM Chamorro Time


OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Navy (DON), is soliciting proposals to advance the conservation, restoration, and enhancement of Guam’s forest and savanna habitats to establish conditions to improve the baseline status of federally listed threatened and endangered species. The goal of the Program is to improve native forest, habitat health and resilience by increasing native plant coverage and diversity in key geographies. The Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative (Program), funded by Department of Defense’s (DoD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program, will award up to $3.2 million in grants. 


GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within the priority project areas illustrated in the map (Map 1) below. Priority project locations include focal geographies (Masso and Taguan), and prospective geographies (Pagat and Anao). See “Program Priorities” section below for specific goals for each project location. Proof-of-concept study(s) to assess the feasibility and process to transition non-native acacia forest to native vegetation at a landscape-scale may occur outside of the priority project areas, but must occur on Guam.

 

Map 1. Priority Project Areas
Map 1. Priority Project Areas

 

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how proposed projects will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of Program goals. Further information on the Program goals and budget can be found in the Guam REPI Habitat Conservation Initiative Implementation Plan (2022-2027), which guides the strategies in this RFP. The Program will award grants to projects that address the following priorities: 

  1. Establish forest and habitat health baseline conditions: Projects will incorporate existing information, fill data gaps, and evaluate forest and habitat health conditions to create a baseline at Masso, Taguan, Pagat, and Anao. Baseline information will be: 1) shared with program partners (DON, Guam Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), 2) used by the Program to inform future management actions, and 3) may be made available to successful applicants that require these data to support acquisition of environmental compliance permits necessary to implement other Program strategies.
  2. Site design and permitting: Priority projects of the Program may require preliminary design and feasibility assessments and approved permits and clearances to lay the groundwork for successful implementation to meet native forest health and habitat objectives. Recognizing this need, applicants may request funding to support site design and permitting activities at Masso, Taguan, Pagat, and Anao. Proposals should demonstrate an understanding of the relevant permitting considerations to be addressed and indicate plans to work closely with the DoN as the lead project proponent and funder of the program, as well as hold robust conversations with permitting officials at various levels of government early and throughout the design process and prior to submission of permitting applications. Applicants should budget time and resources to obtain the necessary permits and clearances to comply with any Federal, state, territorial, or local requirements. Eligible activities under this focus area may include:
    • Conducting parcel boundary surveys to define and record property limits of Taguan, Pagat, or Anao. As necessary, projects will install boundary survey monuments to clearly mark parcel boundaries.
    • Work with the necessary permitting agencies, such as the Guam State Historic Preservation Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on compliance requirements for Masso, Taguan, Pagat, and Anao.
    • Preparing compliance documentation for Masso, Taguan, Pagat, and Anao in consideration of site-specific conditions and individual project needs.
  3. Prevent forest and habitat degradation by invasive ungulates: Projects will install ungulate-proof, human access-friendly fencing around Masso and Taguan focal geographies. Fencing designs should be robust to prevent ungulate ingress while providing continued public access for appropriate recreational, cultural, and management use. Projects will also remove 100% of the invasive ungulates found within these newly created management units and maintain the management units to prevent future ingress by ungulates over the five-year program term. The development of monitoring and maintenance plans to achieve depredation goals, track progress, and ensure long-term sustainability of fencing will be necessary.
  4. Invasive plant management: Projects will remove non-native plants that interfere with or out-compete native plants within the fenced management units in Masso and Taguan. Projects will develop monitoring plans, monitor, and perform preventative maintenance activities to discourage reestablishment of non-native plants post-treatment. Project implementors will use most current and available best practices to avoid accidental introduction(s) of new invasive plants and biosecurity threats, and will monitor treated acres for current and emerging biosecurity threats.
  5. Establish and maintain native plants: Projects will plant a diverse mix of site appropriate native plants at Masso and Taguan to meet Program goals. Activities may include seed collection, propagation, acquisition of materials and supplies (pots, soil, fertilizer, irrigation systems), and maintenance of nursery facilities that are necessary to support propagation of plants for outplanting at priority locations. Seed collection must be done in coordination with: 1) Guam Department of Agriculture if seed collection is taking place on local public lands, 2) appropriate federal agency if seed collection is taking place on federal lands, and 3) private landowners if collection is taking place on privately owned lands. Projects will monitor native plant cover and plant diversity to track progress towards habitat health outcomes, and improve outplant survival and growth by reducing threats from competing plants and pests, invasive ungulates, poor soil quality, and limited water resources.
  6. Reduce wildfire risks to forests and habitat: Projects will establish and maintain firebreaks surrounding Masso.
  7. Conduct a proof-of-concept study to transition non-native acacia to native vegetation: Projects will assess the feasibility and test approaches to transition non-native acacia forest to native vegetation at a landscape-scale to increase native plant coverage and diversity. Projects will determine a safe, effective, and cost-efficient process for removing non-native acacia trees (Acacia sp.), and conduct native plant trials to establish methods for seed collection, propagation and outplanting native pioneer plant species that thrive in nutrient-depleted soils resulting from decades of wildfires and ungulate browsing. Projects will develop a workplan outlining the goals, objectives, preferable site conditions, steps necessary, and sequencing of events. Workplans should include resource and cost estimates, and implementation timelines. Projects will develop recommended best practices and strategies to transition non-native acacia forests to native vegetation over larger scales. 
  8. Increase community and agency engagement: Projects will conduct public education and volunteer events to inform the community about conservation efforts occurring within Masso and Taguan, and solicit public participation. Projects will communicate the detrimental impacts of wildfire, and invasive plants, animals, pests, and disease on native ecosystem health. Educational topics may include fire prevention and safety, value of ungulate-proof fencing and ungulate removal, and best practices for maintaining biosecurity. Participating approaches may include, but are not limited to, community tree planting and invasive plant removal events, school field trips, and public hunting engagements. A minimum of four (4) education events and two (2) volunteer opportunities per year is preferred.  Projects that leverage public and private funds, support local partnerships, and partner with resource management agencies are encouraged.

 

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative has a list of metrics in Easygrants for full proposal applicants to choose 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 think an applicable metric has not been provided, please contact Jana Doi (Jana.Doi@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
Site assessment (found under ‘Research’ in Easygrants application) Acres assessed Types of assessments may include establishing baseline forest and habitat health conditions. Enter the number of acres assessed. Please specify in the metric notes where the assessments took place (i.e., site name) and what type(s) of assessments were conducted.
Site assessment (found under ‘Research’ in Easygrants application) # research studies completed Types of studies may include surveys required for environmental compliance, boundary surveys, and/or a pilot study to assess the feasibility and process to transition non-native acacia forest to native vegetation at a landscape scale. Enter the number of surveys or studies completed. Please specify in the metric notes where the surveys or studies took place (i.e., site name) and what type(s) of surveys or studies were conducted.
BMP implementation for fencing improvements Miles of fencing installed Enter the number of miles of ungulate-proof fencing installed
Invasive ungulate removal (found under ‘Invasive animal or predator removal/ Fencing nests from predators’ in Easygrants application) # of acres protected Enter the # of acres protected from invasive ungulates through fencing
Invasive ungulate removal (found under ‘Invasive animal or predator removal/ Fencing nests from predators’ in Easygrants application) # sites with goals met The goal for sites is 0% signs of ungulate presence. Enter the number of sites where predation reduction goals have been met. Please specify in the metric notes in which site(s) the predation goals were met.
Removal of invasives Acres restored Enter the number of acres restored by removing or treating invasive plants. Please include in the metric notes the percentage reduction of invasive plant cover from the pre-project baseline.
Improved management practices Acres managed to treat annual invasive plants Enter the number of acres managed annually to treat invasive plants. Please include in the metric notes the percentage of acres maintained over each year of the project.
Land restoration Acres restored Enter the number of acres restored by planting native plants. Please include in the metric notes the percentage increase of native plant cover from the pre-project baseline.
Land restoration (found under ‘Land, wetland restoration’ in Easygrants application) # species outplanted Enter the # of native species outplanted. Please include in the metric notes the names of the native species outplanted and the percentage increase of native plant diversity.
Improved management practices # miles of fuel breaks created Enter the # miles of fuel breaks created
Improved management practices # miles of fuel breaks maintained Enter the # miles of fuel breaks maintained. Please include in the metric notes the number of miles maintained each year of the project.
Management or Governance Planning # plans developed Enter the number of workplans developed that incorporated input from multiple stakeholders
Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance # of public education events Enter the number of public education events completed
Volunteer participation # of volunteer events Enter the number of volunteer events completed
Volunteer participation # volunteers participating Enter the number of people participating in volunteer and education events
Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance # government entities participating Enter the number of governmental entities participating in the project. Types of participation may include technical expertise, implementor of project activities, matching cash or in kind contributions, etc.

 

ELIGIBILITY

 
Eligible and Ineligible Entities
  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, U.S. Federal government agencies, state and territorial government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Tribal Governments and Organizations, and educational institutions.
  • Ineligible applicants include international organizations, businesses, or unincorporated individuals.
Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 
  • 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. If this applies to your project, please contact the program staff listed in this RFP to discuss options.
  • 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. 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 Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative will award up to $3.2 million in grants. Federal and non-federal match is encouraged to demonstrate broad support for the project, but is not a proposal requirement. Match can be any combination of in cash and/or in-kind goods and services (for example external/partner services, volunteers or grantee in-kind, etc.) and there is no priority given to higher cash percentages. The ratio of matching contributions offered to grant funding requested is one criterion considered during the review process, and all other factors being equal, projects that offer a higher match ratio with contributions from non-federal sources will be more competitive. Full information about how to document matching contributions, including a description of acceptable sources of matching funds, is available at https://www.nfwf.org/apply-grant/application-information/faqs. Generally, projects extend from one to three years, although grants longer than three years may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

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 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.

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.

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 and Community Impact – The applicant organization partners and engages collaboratively with 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. Non-traditional partners or communities are enlisted to broaden the sustained impact from the project. Describe the community characteristics of the project area, identify any communities impacted, describe outreach and community engagement activities and how those will be monitored and measured. Use demographic data to support descriptions and submit letters of support from community partners and/or collaborators demonstrating their commitment to the project and engagement in project activities as proposed.


OTHER  

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.

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.

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. 

Matching Contributions – Matching Contributions consist of cash, contributed goods and services, volunteer hours, and/or property raised and spent for the Project during the Period of Performance. Larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive during application review.

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.  

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 program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information: Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative.

Applicant Webinar (Register Here) May 19, 2022 by 9:00 AM Chamorro Standard Time
Full Proposal Due Date  June 15, 2022 by 11:59 PM Chamorro Standard Time
Review Period June – October 2022
Awards Announced October 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 through the Related Content link above. 

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: 
Jana Doi
Manager, Alaska and Hawai'i Programs
Jana.Doi@nfwf.org
(415) 243-3102

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.