2022 Klamath Basin Salmon Restoration Request for Proposals

Applicant Webinar [View Recording]: March 10, 11:00 AM Pacific Time
Pre-Proposal Due Date: March 28, 2022 by 8:59 PM Pacific Time
Full Proposal Due Date: May 23, 2022 by 8:59 PM Pacific Time 



The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is pleased to announce the Klamath Basin Salmon Restoration Request for Proposals (RFP). This RFP is intended to solicit projects to improve fish and wildlife habitat as part of two grantmaking programs:

  1. The Klamath River Coho Restoration Grant Program (Klamath River Program): The Klamath River Program is a partnership with Reclamation Klamath Basin Area Office and supports local and regional on-the-ground activities that improve degraded habitat and assist in enhancing natural populations of Southern Oregon Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) specifically within the mainstem Klamath River and tributaries between Iron Gate Dam (IGD) at river mile (RM) 190 to the Klamath River mouth excluding the Trinity River. This Klamath River Program is required pursuant to the Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(2) Biological Opinion, and Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Essential Fish Habitat Response for Klamath Project Operations From April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2024 (2019 BiOp) issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service on March 29, 2019.
  2. The Trinity River Restoration Program (Trinity River Program): The Trinity River Program is a partnership with Reclamation’s Northern California Area Office and provides funding for activities that improve aquatic habitat within the Trinity River Basin to help reduce the impacts of the operation of the Trinity River Division of the Central Valley Project on the mainstem fisheries of the Trinity River. Program funds will be used to support local and regional on-the-ground actions that reduce fine sediment delivery in degraded watersheds or improve habitat connectivity. Reclamation is required to support the Trinity Program pursuant to the Record of Decision – Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (ROD) issued by the Department of the Interior on December 19, 2000. Administration of Trinity River Program funds are directed towards habitat restoration activities within tributary watersheds of the Trinity River between Lewiston Dam and Weitchpec, including the South Fork Trinity River and its tributaries.

Project types that will be given the highest priority include: 

  • Access improvement and barrier removal projects;
  • Projects that improve habitat and access to coldwater refugia; 
  • Instream habitat enhancement and protection projects; 
  • Water conservation projects, and;
  • Fine sediment reduction projects (Trinity River only). 

In 2022, NFWF in coordination with Reclamation is expected to award up to $1,409,500 for Klamath River Program projects and $972,500 for Trinity River Program projects.



For the Klamath River Program:
Projects must be located in the mainstem Klamath River Basin and tributaries between IGD at RM 190 and the Klamath River mouth. With the exclusion of the Trinity River, all tributaries between IGD and the Klamath River mouth are eligible for funding through the Klamath Program. 

Klamath River Coho Habitat Restoration Program focal geography (2019 Biological Opinion (BiOp), page 71, Figure 5)
Figure 1. Klamath River Coho Habitat Restoration Program focal geography (2019 Biological Opinion (BiOp), page 71, Figure 5)

For Trinity River Program:

Projects must be located in tributary watersheds of the Trinity River between Lewiston Dam and Weitchpec, including the South Fork Trinity River and its tributaries.


Figure 2. Trinity River Restoration Program focal geography.
Figure 2. Trinity River Restoration Program focal geography.


To be eligible for funding for the Klamath River Program, proposed projects must directly benefit SONCC coho salmon anadromous fish and/or be a design, planning or monitoring project that can demonstrate that it will provide a direct benefit to SONCC coho salmon. For the Trinity River Program, proposed projects must directly benefit or be designed to benefit anadromous fish. The examples of potential projects discussed below are not intended to limit types of potential projects being considered. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to reference NFWF’s California Forests and Watersheds Business Plan for opportunities to enhance project competitiveness by linking Business Plan strategies and work in focal areas for priority species whenever possible.

Access improvement and barrier removal projects: 
These include projects to: 

  1. Remove and address existing fish passage barriers including small dams, fords, and culverts to create permanent access to spawning and rearing habitat. 
  2. Maintain and improve access to existing habitat. 

Examples of projects undertaken to remove existing fish passage barriers, or maintain and improve fish access would include: Barrier removals caused by road crossings (e.g., culverts); Diversion dams, or other permanent or seasonal barriers that impede fish passage; Maintenance or modifications to tributary mouths to ensure access, including removal of swimmer dams, gradient barriers, log jams, and other types of impediments.

Projects that improve coho salmon habitat and access to coldwater refugia: 
These include projects to: 

  1. Improve connectivity, habitat cover and complexity or maintain habitat cover and complexity (if already suitable) at coldwater refugia sites; 
  2. Increase the extent and/or duration of coldwater refugia, and;
  3. Enhance rearing habitat in key rearing sites. 

Projects to improve or maintain cover and the complexity of cover in refugia can include riparian planting and placements of boulders, large wood, and brush bundles. Projects to increase the extent and/or duration of refugia sites can include improving connection of flow from tributaries that feed refugia and adding natural structures or deepening refugia sites to increase the duration and extent of the coldwater plume. Projects to enhance rearing sites can include channel re-alignment, alcove or pond deepening, riparian planting, and placements of boulders, large wood, and brush bundles. Examples of projects that improve coldwater refugia include off-channel pond construction and improvement, routine brush bundle placement in existing refugia, and habitat improvements between refugia.

Instream habitat enhancement and protection projects: 
These projects are necessary to provide rearing habitat for both over-summering and over-wintering coho salmon. Connectivity-related projects include in-channel enhancements and improvements to eliminate flow and thermal barriers (e.g., removal or functional upgrades of diversion structures or screens, channel modifications or impediment removal to improve flow and access). Projects to enhance rearing habitat in tributaries include:

  • Channel reconstruction; 
  • Floodplain connection; 
  • Off-channel habitat creation and connection to increase available habitats provided by tributary channels, and;
  • Side channels, alcoves, and ponds. 

Projects to protect summer rearing habitat could include:

  • Riparian fencing and planting and instream structure placement (e.g., large wood features, beaver dam analogues, post assisted wood structures, etc.), and;
  • Riparian leasing, and conservation easements or acquisitions to protect riparian areas and streambanks along reaches that provide important summer rearing habitat.

Water transactions and conservation projects:
Projects should help prevent seasonal and temporary flow-related fish passage barriers and improve water quality in key rearing and spawning areas. Water transaction projects include funding of water transactions to provide flow augmentation in reaches used for coho salmon spawning and juvenile rearing. For example, funds would be available for temporary leases of water from people with active water rights to keep water instream. 

Water conservation project types may include instream leasing and irrigation forbearance agreements, permanent transfers of water instream, tailwater reduction projects, water storage tanks and piping of ditches that ensure protection of the enhanced flow using tools such as petitions for instream flow dedications as described in Section 1707 of the California Water Code.

Fine sediment reduction projects:
Fine sediment (sand and silt) delivery from tributary watersheds to the Trinity River increases with roads, logging, and other land uses. Fine sediment reduction projects include road maintenance, road rehabilitation and road decommissioning on private and public lands within the Trinity River basin, excluding the Middle Trinity River HA (from Lewiston Dam to just above the North Fork). Priority for this category would be given to projects that permanently address sources of fine sediment (e.g., road decommissioning) rather than routine maintenance activities. In addition to fine sediment reduction, project to increase coarse sediment storage in the river (gravel/cobble bars), improve coarse sediment transport (distribute gravel/cobble downstream), and restore a balance between coarse sediment supply and coarse sediment transport will also be considered as priorities. All projects must adhere to the Trinity ROD and/or help identify projects that contribute to its implementation.



To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grant projects, the Klamath Basin Salmon Restoration RFP has a list of metrics in Easygrants for full proposal applicants to choose from for reporting (commonly used metrics are shown in the table below). We ask that you select the most relevant metrics from this list for your project. If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact Femke Freiberg (Femke.Freiberg@NFWF.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity  Recommended Metric Additional Guidance 

Water acquisitions or leases -Acre feet of water purchased
 Acre feet of water purchased   Enter the acre feet of water purchased
Water acquisitions or leases - CFS of cold water purchased  CFS of cold water purchased Enter the cubic feet per second of cold water purchased
Fish passage improvements - # passage barriers rectified  # passage barriers rectified Enter the number of fish passage barriers rectified
Fish passage improvements - Miles of stream opened Miles of stream opened Enter the number of miles of stream made accessible to aquatic organism passage. NFWF prefers that this metric indicate the miles of upstream habitat until the next barrier upstream (or end of flowline) as well as the miles of downstream habitat until the next barrier downstream using PADnew (see https://www.calfish.org/ProgramsData/HabitatandBarriers/CaliforniaFishP…). This estimate should include both the mainstem of the stream or river and smaller tributaries. If another data source or methodology is used, please describe it in the Notes section.
Instream restoration - # structures installed # structures installed Enter the number of habitat structures installed, replaced, upgraded or repaired for improvement of instream habitat
Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people reached  # people reached  Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities
Restoration planning/design/permitting - # E&D plans developed # E&D plans developed Enter the number of Engineering and Design plans developed. Generally, there will be 1 plan per project to be constructed.
Habitat Management – Lbs sediment avoided (annually) Lbs sediment avoided (annually) Enter the amount of sediment prevented from entering system annually and indicate method of calculating reduction in NOTES section
Habitat Restoration – Miles restored Miles restored 

Enter the number of riparian acres restored. In the NOTES section, specify the landcover type prior to planting (barren, cropland, grassland, shrubland), the % of vegetation on the pre-project site (0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, 81-100%), the dominant vegetation being planted (Broadleaf, Conifer, Shrub, Grass, Marsh, Swamp), the buffer width, and the acres. DO NOT include instream restoration




Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • Reclamation funds administered through NFWF and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • Reclamation funds administered through NFWF 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. 
  • 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


In 2022, NFWF is expected to award up to $1,409,500 for Klamath River Program projects and $972,500 for Trinity River Program projects. Reclamation and NFWF expect to make 10-20 grant awards from this RFP ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. Pre-proposals must include a quote from a qualified environmental consultant on the potential cost of any/all federal environmental compliance necessary to complete the project’s objectives (typically 10 percent of total project costs), this may need to include costs associated with hiring consultants to assist with environmental and cultural surveys. After the award date, projects should begin within six months of the complete project description being analyzed under any and all federal environmental compliance laws and policies and be completed within two years. Projects that demonstrate strong partnerships and that have non-federal matching funds from various partners/donors to support a significant portion of cost of the project being submitted are strongly encouraged. Although non-federal matching funds are optional, projects with matching funds are strongly encouraged. 


All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness, and compliance with NFWF and Reclamation 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 Klamath River and Trinity River programs’ overall habitat and species conservation goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the Klamath River or Trinity River 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.

Cost-Effectiveness – Project includes a cost-effective budget that balances performance risk and efficient use of funds.  Cost-effectiveness evaluation may include, but is not limited to, an assessment of either or both direct and indirect costs in the proposed budget. The federal government has determined that a de minimis 10% indirect rate is an acceptable minimum for organizations without a NICRA, as such NFWF reserves the right to scrutinize ALL proposals with indirect rates above 10% for cost-effectiveness.  

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 – 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.)


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.

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.  No advance of funds will be allowed unless funds are directly related to completing environmental compliance requirements determined by Reclamation.

Environmental Compliance Requirements – Projects selected will be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA) (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Clean Water Act (CWA), as well as any other applicable environmental compliance law or policy.  Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved by Reclamation prior to initiating project activities. Some projects may be eligible for adoption under existing programmatic permits and environmental compliance clearances. If you think your project may be eligible, please contact NFWF staff representatives to discuss. Applicants should budget time and resources to obtain the needed approvals collecting quotes from qualified consultants.  

Environmental Compliance: Projects that are selected for funding will need to comply with NEPA, NHPA, the ESA and any other environmental law or policy determined by Reclamation prior to project commencement. In the template provided, appropriately answer the following list of questions to provide initial insight into the extent and scope of potential environmental compliance and permitting requirements for your project: 
Will your project impact the surrounding environment (i.e., soil [dust], air, water [quality and quantity], fish and wildlife habitat, etc.)? If so, please explain the impacts and any steps that could be taken to minimize the impacts. 

  1. Are you aware of any ESA listed (i.e., endangered, threatened, listed, or proposed species) in the project area as well as critical habitats they depend on? If so, are there any expected impacts to these species or their critical habitat (explain)? 
  2. Are there wetlands inside or near the project boundaries? If so, please estimate how many acres of wetlands there are, and describe any impact your project will have on the wetlands.  
  3. Describe the extent and timing of in-water work proposed for your project. Will there be removal/fill activities (dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands)? Will the project alter the streambed? Please estimate the quantity of any dredge and fill activities.
  4. Describe the extent of ground disturbing activities associated with your project. Will there be trenching, driving equipment off existing roads, etc.? If so, what are the dimensions of the trenching and or other ground disturbance activity? 

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

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 U.S. 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.

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

Community Impact and Engagement: Projects that incorporate outreach to communities, foster community engagement, and pursue collaborative management leading to measurable conservation benefits are encouraged. When possible, projects should be developed through community input and co-design processes ensuring traditional knowledge elevation. Additionally, projects should engage community-level partners (e.g., municipalities, NGOs, community organizations, community leaders) to help design, implement, and maintain projects to secure maximum benefits for communities, maintenance, and sustainability post-grant award.



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

Applicant Webinar [View Recording] March 10, 2022
Pre-Proposal Due Date: March 28, 2022 by 8:59 PM PST
Full Proposal Due Date: May 23, 2022 by 8:59 PM PST 
Review Period   May-June 2022
Awards Announced  July 2022 



All application materials must be submitted online through NFWF’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.



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: 
Femke Freiberg
Program Director, Western Water Programs
Email: femke.freiberg@nfwf.org
Phone: 415-243-3104 (PST)

Hannah Karlan
Coordinator, Water Investments
Email: hannah.karlan@nfwf.org
Phone: 202-595-2430 (EST)

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.