Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund 2021 Request for Proposals

Applicant Webinar [Register Here]: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 3 PM Eastern Time
Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, February 4, 2021 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time
 

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to expand and enhance longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management across longleaf pine’s historical range, as well as the restoration and enhancement of bottomland hardwood forests within priority focal areas. The Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund is a public-private partnership supported with Federal funding from USDA’s Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and private funding from International Paper’s Forestland Stewards Partnership, Southern Company, the Arbor Day Foundation, Altria Group and The Orton Foundation, an affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon. Approximately $4.3 million in grant funds is expected to be available in 2021.
 

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

Map of the southeast US showing the historic range of longleaf habitat, locations of local implementation teams, and bottomland hardwood restoration focal areas.To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within historic range or priority focal areas as depicted on Map 1 as follows:

  1. Longleaf Pine: Historical range within AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX or VA. 
  2. Bottomland Hardwoods: Focal areas identified in LA, NC, SC or TX. 

A more detailed map can be viewed here: Interactive Map.
 

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

The Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund is guided primarily by three strategic drivers: 

  1. Supporting the implementation of NFWF’s Business Plan: Longleaf Forests and Rivers which outlines NFWF’s strategic priorities and goals to restore and enhance longleaf pine forest ecosystems. Four species are targeted within the business plan: red-cockaded woodpecker, gopher tortoise, Bachman’s sparrow, and northern bobwhite. These four species were selected as indicators of healthy longleaf ecosystems and represent the habitat needs of a broader suite of species dependent upon this system.
     
  2. Supporting longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and enhancement on public and private lands through collaborative, on-the-ground actions that contribute to the strategic restoration goals in the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine, developed by the America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI). The three-year priorities and actions to advance these goals are outlined in ALRI’s strategic priorities and actions document.
     
  3. Supporting the implementation of bottomland hardwood restoration and enhancement strategies identified in NFWF’s Forestland Stewards partnership business plan for the benefit of wildlife species and freshwater systems, while promoting and supporting working forests. Funding for bottomland hardwood restoration and management is currently limited to focal areas within the coastal plain of North and South Carolina and piney woods region of east Texas and west Louisiana. 

Funding Priorities: Priority will be given to projects that effectively implement one or more of the strategies below to improve longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood habitats and populations of associated wildlife species. Note: NFWF is particularly interested in projects that help improve the understanding and quantification of the carbon and water benefits of longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood restoration, enhancement and management projects. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to program staff prior to submitting a proposal to discuss projects that will address carbon and water benefits.

  1. Establishing Longleaf Pine and/or Bottomland Hardwood Forests: Includes projects that create new longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood habitat, including site preparation and planting on public and private lands. Projects should describe all necessary site preparation for planting, number of acres and seedlings that will be planted, and summarize plans to promote long-term sustainability and maintenance of plantings (e.g., mechanical and/or chemical treatments, prescribed burning, etc.).
     
  2. Enhancing and Maintaining Existing Longleaf Pine and/or Bottomland Hardwood Ecosystems: Includes projects that maintain, expand and promote effective management of existing longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood forest habitats on public and private lands through the use of management treatments, including, but not limited to the following:

    For Longleaf Pine:

    Prescribed Burning
  • Increase prescribed fire capacity, coordination and collaboration through fire teams, prescribed burn associations, or other strategies.
  • Provide technical assistance, training and/or other incentives to increase the amount and frequency of prescribed burning on private lands, including but not limited to assisting USDA service center staff in writing burn plans and implementing financial assistance contracts through NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and other Farm Bill programs, including projects within USDA Working Lands for Wildlife project and/or target species priority areas within the historical longleaf pine range. 
  • Increase prescribed burning and management on public lands.
  • Pursue innovations and address specific barriers or roadblocks to prescribed burning, including strategies that may be transferred across the longleaf range

    Other Silvicultural Treatments

    Where prescribed fire is not sufficient or practical for achieving longleaf ecosystem restoration, the following additional treatments will be considered. Applicants should explain how these treatments contribute towards sustainable longleaf ecosystem restoration and maintenance, including how they will enable future prescribed burning as a management practice. Silvicultural treatments on stands where longleaf is not currently the dominant tree species are permitted where such treatments will result in conversion to a longleaf dominated forest1.
     
  • Over-story treatments aimed at reducing over-story tree density, improving over-story structure, release of longleaf regeneration, or to implement uneven-aged or patch-cut silvicultural treatments. 
  • Mid-story treatments including mechanical and chemical treatments to remove or control mid-story hardwood or pine encroachment. 
  • Planting native under-story species to improve wildlife habitat and support the application of prescribed fire.
  • Invasive species treatments including herbicide or mechanical single or multiple treatments to control non-native, invasive plant species.

    For Bottomland Hardwoods:
     
  • Support regeneration of natural stands and/or improved management of existing natural or planted stands through invasive species control, thinning and other treatments that enhance wildlife value.
  • Additional inter-planting as needed to improve forest conditions for wildlife.
  1. Expanding and Coordinating Technical Assistance and Outreach: Includes projects that implement collaborative and strategic outreach and technical assistance to increase the amount of private landowners and/or producers engaged in longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood restoration and stewardship practices. Proposals must estimate the number of acres to be restored, enhanced, or maintained as a result of proposed activities. Projects should effectively align with and complement other existing private land initiatives, implementation plans or programs, such as US Fish & Wildlife Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, NRCS’ Longleaf Pine Initiative, USDA’s Working Lands for Wildlife, and/or DOD Sentinel Landscapes. NFWF also seeks projects that include outreach and technical assistance to, and enhanced participation of underserved landowners, including USDA’s historically underserved farmers and ranchers
  • Increase outreach and technical assistance delivery success: Support private landowner and/or producer outreach and technical assistance that contribute to increased longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood habitat restoration, enhancement and management on private lands. Strategies may include:
    • Increasing capacity through the hiring of staff or contractors to provide technical assistance on private lands, develop forest management and prescribed burn plans, and assist with implementation of forest restoration and management treatments. 
    • Implementing innovative methods to engage private landowners or producers and expand on-the-ground restoration and protection activities on private lands, such as utilizing social marketing and preference data to identify and better understand landowner or producer motivations and barriers to sustainable forest management.
    • Targeting outreach for private landowners and producers and working with NRCS, FWS and other partners to prioritize, plan and deliver financial assistance such as EQIP, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, Working Lands for Wildlife and other programs to improve habitat and support at-risk species.
  • Advance new market-oriented and/or incentive programs: Pilot innovative, market-oriented solutions and/or incentive programs that stimulate landowner participation in longleaf recovery efforts.
  • Increase participation in third-party forest certification: Increase participation in third-party forest certification programs to encourage third-party verification of sustainable forest management practices for longleaf pine ecosystem, bottomland hardwood forests, and associated wildlife. 
  1. Building and Improving Local Implementation Team Capacity: A portion of available grant funding may be allocated to strengthen local implementation team (LIT) capacity to establish and/or advance a comprehensive longleaf ecosystem restoration strategy and accomplish conservation goals within defined significant geographic areas (SGAs).

    Proposed capacity-building activities must be integrated as part of a larger project addressing one or more of strategies 1-3 above. Proposals must detail how LIT capacity investments will lead to specific, measurable, on-the-ground conservation outcomes within the project period.
  • Coordination: Support an LIT coordinator position to provide coordination across all SGA partners, priorities and activities, and accelerate achievement of longleaf restoration and maintenance goals for the defined region. Applicants may request no more than 50% of the LIT coordinator’s salary and benefits. Applicants that are not able to cover the remainder of the LIT coordinator’s salary and benefits must contact NFWF to discuss a waiver to the 50% threshold prior to submitting a proposal. Funding for LIT coordinators is currently limited to those LITs working within an SGA. Requests for this type of support must include:
    • A clear work plan that outlines how the coordinator will facilitate completing and/or implementing the SGA’s conservation plan; as well as monitoring and tracking progress and achievements of key activities, milestones, and goals. 
    • Participation in the annual and/or regional LIT coordinator meetings to network, expand knowledge and share lessons learned. 
    • Description of how the coordinator position will be supported long-term and sustained through other financial resources. 
  1. Accelerating Species Recovery: As part of a larger longleaf ecosystem habitat restoration or enhancement project, implement other strategies, such as translocation, installation of nest-cavity inserts, captive rearing and reintroduction, monitoring and other supporting activities to aid recovery of longleaf ecosystem-dependent species. Preference will be given to projects that contribute to the species outcomes outlined in the longleaf forests and rivers business plan for red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), gopher tortoise, Bachman’s sparrow, and northern bobwhite, and that are located within a business plan focal area. Species-specific strategies that aid in the recovery of populations of other longleaf ecosystem indicator species will also be considered. Proposals should demonstrate how activities advance implementation of established conservation strategies within federal species recovery plans, regional bird conservation plans and/or state wildlife action plans. Applicants must contact Jon Scott (jonathan.scott@nfwf.org) prior to applying for species-specific strategies to discuss the project’s geographic location, proposed activities, and plans to monitor project outcomes.
     
  2. Conservation Easements (for LA, TX and NC/SC Coastal Plain projects only): Funding is available to facilitate targeted conservation easement projects that protect existing, high-quality longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood habitat or key sites targeted for longleaf and bottomland hardwood restoration that are part of a broader restoration proposal.

    Requests for conservation easement funding should not exceed 15% of the total proposal request and should be for transaction and due-diligence costs, such as boundary survey, appraisal, environmental report, etc. In limited instances, highly leveraged projects will be considered for acquisition costs. Please contact Jon Scott (jonathan.scott@nfwf.org) to discuss specific land conservation projects. 
     

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund 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 Jon Scott (jonathan.scott@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Projects that may involve organizations or producers that identify as one or more of the federal Underserved/Special Emphasis Categories (described on page 10) are encouraged to apply and should report impact on such categories in the notes section of their selected metrics shown below.

Strategy Easygrants Metric Additional Guidance
Establishing Longleaf Pine and/or Bottomland Hardwood Forests LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Land restoration - Acres restored on private lands through plantings Enter the number of acres of longleaf pine that will be established through plantings on private lands.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Land restoration - Acres restored on public lands through plantings Enter the number of acres of longleaf pine that will be established through plantings on public lands.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Land, wetland restoration - # of trees planted on private lands Enter the number of longleaf pine seedlings that will be planted on private lands.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Land, wetland restoration - # of trees planted on public lands Enter the number of longleaf pine seedlings that will be planted on public lands.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Land restoration - Acres restored on private land Enter the number of acres of bottomland hardwoods that will be planted on private lands.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Land restoration - Acres restored on public land Enter the number ocres of bottomland hardwoods that will be planted on public lands.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Land restoration - # of trees planted on private lands Enter the number of bottomland hardwood seedlings that will be planted on private lands.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Land restoration - # of trees planted on public lands Enter the number of bottomland hardwood seedlings that will be planted on public lands.
Enhancing and Maintaining Existing Longleaf Pine and/or Bottomland Hardwood Ecosystems LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Land restoration - Acres restored on private lands through silvicultural manipulation Enter the number of acres of longleaf pine-dominant forest that will be gained through silvicultural treatments on private lands.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Land restoration - Acres restored on public lands through silvicultural manipulation Enter the number of acres of longleaf pine-dominant forest that will be gained through silvicultural treatments on public lands.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - BMP implementation for prescribed burns - Acres private land burned Enter the number of acres of prescribed burning that will be completed on longleaf pine habitat on private lands. Include site prep burning in this metric.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - BMP implementation for prescribed burns - Acres public land burned Enter the number of acres of prescribed burning that will be completed on longleaf pine habitat on public lands. Include site prep burning in this metric.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Improved management practices - Acres under imp mgt (private) Enter the number of acres of over-story treated, mid-story treated, native understory established, and/or non-native, invasive plant species treated that will be completed within existing longleaf pine habitat on private lands. Acres of prescribed fire should not be included in this total. An acre is to be reported on only one time, even if subjected to more than one treatment.
LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Improved management practices - Acres under imp mgt (public) Enter the number of acres of over-story treated, mid-story treated, native understory established, and/or non-native, invasive plant species treated that will be completed within existing longleaf pine habitat on public lands. Acres of prescribed fire should not be included in this total. An acre is to be reported on only one time, even if subjected to more than one treatment.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Improved management practices - Acres under imp mgt (private) Enter the number of acres that will be treated to improve or maintain existing bottomland hardwood forest on private lands.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Improved management practices - Acres under imp mgt (public) Enter the number of acres that will be treated to improve or maintain existing bottomland hardwood forest on public lands.
Expanding and Coordinating Private Landowner Technical Assistance and Outreach*

Note: Projects that will engage private landowners should select all three of the following metrics:

  • # people targeted 
  • # people reached
  • # people with changed behavior
Data for all three metrics will enable NFWF to better understand landowner response to outreach, education and technical assistance efforts.
LLSF - Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people targeted Enter the number of landowners that will be targeted by outreach activities. Examples include direct mailings and targeted media advertisements. If applicable, in the notes section, please report the number of people targeted in each underserved/special emphasis category.
LLSF - Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people reached Enter the number of landowners anticipated to be reached through educational meetings, trainings and/or technical assistance. If the target value includes landowners reached through more than one activity, please break out in the notes section. If applicable, in the notes section, please report the number of people reached in each underserved/special emphasis category.
LLSF - Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people with changed behavior Enter the number of private landowners reached who are expected to implement conservation actions. Examples include developing a conservation plan, enrolling in a financial assistance program, implementing a conservation practice. If applicable, in the notes section, please report the number of people with changed behavior in each underserved/special emphasis category.
Accelerating Species Recovery LLSF - Red-cockaded Woodpecker - Translocation - # translocated/stocked Enter the number of pairs of red-cockaded woodpeckers that will be translocated.
LLSF - Gopher Tortoise - Translocation - # translocated/stocked Enter the number of individual gopher tortoises that will be translocated and/or released.
Conservation Easements LLSF - Longleaf Pine - Conservation easements - Acres protected under easement Enter the number of acres of longleaf pine habitat that will be protected by conservation easements.
LLSF - Bottomland Hardwoods - Conservation easements - Acres protected under easement Enter the number of acres of bottomland hardwood habitat that will be protected by conservation easements.

*Projects that will engage private landowners should select all three outreach/education/technical assistance metrics listed above (targeted, reached, changed behavior). Data for all three metrics will enable NFWF to better understand  landowner response to outreach, education, technical assistance, and diversity efforts.
 

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Tribal Governments and Organizations, and educational institutions.
  • Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies, businesses, unincorporated individuals, and international organizations. U.S. Federal agencies, businesses and unincorporated individuals are encouraged to partner with applicants, but are not eligible to submit an application.

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.
  • 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 Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund anticipates awarding approximately $4.3 million in grants in FY 2021. This program has one annual application cycle and awards approximately 20-25 grants per year. Grant awards are expected to range from $100,000 to $300,000. Projects should begin within six months of the award date and be completed within two to three years from the start date. These grants require non-federal matching contributions valued at 50% of the total project costs (1:1 ratio). 

Projects submitted from organizations which identify as one or more of the federal Underserved/Special Emphasis Categories (described on page 10) unable to provide a 1:1 non-federal match are eligible, but applicants must contact NFWF to discuss potential match adjustment options prior to submitting a proposal.

Work on Public Lands: Limited work on federal lands is eligible, but funding is limited for some portions of the historical longleaf pine range. Work performed on state and municipal-owned public land is eligible across all states within the historical longleaf range. Projects that focus on public lands are strongly encouraged to include work on private lands as part of the broader project scope. Please contact Jon Scott (jonathan.scott@nfwf.org) to discuss potential work on public lands prior to submitting an application.
 

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 Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund’s acreage, habitat, and species goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics that will be tracked and measured to evaluate project success. In addition to meeting key habitat needs for longleaf ecosystem indicator species (red-cockaded woodpecker, gopher tortoise, Bachman’s sparrow, northern bobwhite), describe any significant benefits to other at-risk, threatened or endangered species. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities outlined in the request for proposals. 

Conservation Plan and Context – Describe how the project addresses the priorities and goals outlined in the Business Plan: Longleaf Forests and Rivers and other existing conservation plans or strategies that benefit the longleaf pine ecosystem and associated species. Projects located within the coastal plain of North and South Carolina or Piney Woods region of Texas and Louisiana and include bottomland hardwood restoration should address how the project advances the bottomland hardwood restoration priorities and acreage and species goals outlined in the Forestland Stewards partnership business plan. Proposals also should highlight how these efforts will expand new or existing restoration and conservation initiatives to maximize large-scale ecosystem function. Proposals submitted on behalf of an LIT/SGA should describe how the project will support and advance the priorities identified in a completed or developing LIT/SGA conservation plan.

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 performance2. Larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive during application review. Applicants are encouraged to describe federal partner contributions as well in the proposal narrative, although those contributions will not count toward the minimum match requirement.

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.

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.

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. 

For SGA and/or LIT projects, this should include appropriate federal, state, local and private partners. Coordination with the military is strongly encouraged where possible (e.g., work with a local installation to support the military mission and demonstrate an understanding of the installation’s longleaf objectives). (Note: a project partner is any local community, non-profit organization, tribe, and/or local, state or federal government agency that contributes to the project in a substantial way and is closely involved in completing the project.)

Funding Need – Project establishes a clear need for the funds being requested, and demonstrates that activities would not move forward absent funding.

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. 

Letters of Support:

  • Letters of support from the applicable State forestry office(s), highlighting how implementation of the proposed project will be coordinated with their office must be submitted for projects including work on state and private lands. (View state forest agency contacts.) 
  • Letter of support from the appropriate military installation/base Commander, or official designee that addresses the specific project benefits to the military mission are required for projects involving or benefitting a local military installation or base. 
  • Letter of support from the Forest Supervisor of the applicable National Forest is required for projects including work on a National Forest (View national forest contacts).
  • Letter from the appropriate NRCS State Conservationist acknowledging how the proposed project is being coordinated with their office must be submitted for projects including private lands. (View NRCS State conservationist contacts.)
  • Projects that geographically overlap with a local implementation team (LIT), but are not submitted on behalf of the LIT partnership, must provide an acknowledgement letter from the LIT(s) outlining how the project will coordinate with the LIT partners and complement or enhance existing/planned LIT/SGA activities. Contact Information for LITs
  • Letters documenting the support/contributions of all other project partners are strongly encouraged.

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

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.

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 acts (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.

Special Instructions: Explanation of How Project Supports DOD Mission Objectives – For applicants whose project includes work on, adjacent to, or within close proximity to military bases or installations, applications must demonstrate how proposed projects will support DOD’s mission objectives and complete the DOD questionnaire provided as an upload in Easygrants.

USDA Underserved/Special Emphasis Categories – The historically underserved farmer and rancher categories include those with limited resources, beginning farmers/ranchers, socially disadvantaged (American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics) and veterans. More information can be found at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/people/outreach/slbfr/?cid=nrcsdev11_001040.

The special emphasis categories are American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Black, Disability, Women, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Hispanic, and Veterans. More information can be found at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/people/employee/sep/.
 

TIMELINE

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

  Applicant Webinar [Register Here] December 2, 2020, 3 PM Eastern Time
  Proposal Due Date February 4, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern Time
  Review Period February - July 2021
  Awards Announced August 2021


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 Application Information page.

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

Jon Scott
Southern Forests Program Director 
202-595-2609
Jonathan.scott@nfwf.org

Zack Bernstein
Program Coordinator, Southern Regional Office
202-595-2433
Zachary.Bernstein@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.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1Longleaf dominated forests includes both longleaf pine forest type (pine ≥ 50% of live tree stocking and longleaf pine is most common pine species) and mixed longleaf pine-oak forest (pine 25-50% of live tree stocking and longleaf pine is most common pine species)

2Note that landowner contributions being used as match for a Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund grant must be outside of the amount already written into any agency cost-share contract as a cost-share contribution.