San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Community-based Trails Management Program 2018 Request for Proposals

Applicant Webinar: Thursday, July 12 from 2 - 3:30 PM Pacific Time
Full Proposal Due Date Extended: Monday, August 13 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for trail restoration and trail improvement activities within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (SGMNM). The goal of the SGMNM Trails Management Program is to support the SGMNM and Angeles National Forest (ANF) in their efforts to manage and restore SGMNM system trails for the benefit of improved natural resource protection, increased user safety, and enhanced public experience. The SGMNM Trail Management program will award approximately $150,000 through this grant opportunity. Funding from this program comes through the United States Forest Service.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

San Gabriel Mountains 2018 RFP Map
The Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument are a tremendous resource for the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The ANF and SGMNM account for about 70% of the region’s open space. Millions of visitors each year take advantage of a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, hunting, biking, horseback riding, OHV use, hang gliding, picnicking and wildlife watching. ANF and SGMNM further serves the region as the origin of roughly a third of Los Angeles’ drinking water. This wild and rugged landscape, only 90 minutes away or less from over 15 million people, is also home to rare and unique wildlife like California condor, spotted owl, bighorn sheep, and 1000-year old limber pine.

Grants will be awarded to partnership-based projects that significantly advance trail management needs within one or more of the Eligible Project Trail Management Groups.  Trail Management Groups, and specific SGMNM priority trails and eligible on-the-ground trail management activities are described further in Appendix A.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how projects for which funds are requested will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the following program goals. 

  1. Inventory Trail Maintenance Needs throughout SGMNM Trail System: Projects that provide up-to-date inventory of trail maintenance needs, including appropriate accompanying data (e.g. digital pictures, GPS coordinates, GIS shapefiles, etc) to catalogue and identify future trail maintenance needs.
  2. Restore or Maintain SGMNM System Trails to USFS Standards: Projects that improve presently identified priority trails must comply with all relevant USFS trail standards and criteria, as well as ensure all applicable regulatory requirements and policies are met (e.g. NEPA). Guidance documents and other information related to USFS Trail standards and objectives can be found via this link.
  3. Improve Habitat or Water Quality to Support Healthy Ecosystems: Projects that identify and focus on trail management activities that directly and substantially improve conditions for SGMNM fish, wildlife, and native plant species. Examples may include trail improvements that can demonstrate a direct reduction in erosion and runoff to a stream, removal of invasive plants along the trail corridor, or the restoration of environments impacted by non-sanctioned user created trails to protect natural habitats.
  4. Engage Youth, Veterans, and/or Local Community Groups: Projects that include opportunities for youth, veterans, and local community-based stakeholders to participate in trail management activities, foster environmental stewardship, and connect the residents and visitors of the Los Angeles metro-area with the natural environments of the SGMNM.
  5. Create or Enhance Opportunities for Trail Users to Understand and Appreciate the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the SGMNM: Projects that in addition to improving the condition of the trails themselves, improve the trail users experience through interpretation or interactions with the natural and cultural heritage they experience.
  6. Maintain Long-term and Sustainable Trail Management Solutions: Projects that incorporate strategies and practices that sustain the value of the funded activity well beyond the grant funded project period.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Trails Management Program 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 Jim Bond (Jim.Bond@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

​Project Activity ​Recommended Metric Additional Guidance​​
​Volunteer Participation ​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives – Volunteer Participation - # volunteers participating ​Enter the number of volunteers participating in projects
​Student Participation ​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives – Outreach, Education – Number of students reached ​Enter the number of students in pre-school – grade 12 engaged. In the notes, identify the grade level(s) for all students reached.
​Trails Improvement ​Habitat Management – Green Infrastructure – miles of trails developed or improved ​Enter the number of miles of trails developed or improved
​Trails Inventoried and Assessed ​Planning, Research, Monitoring – Monitoring – Miles being monitored ​Enter the number of miles being monitored or surveyed
​Trail Condition Report/Recommendations ​Planning, Research, Monitoring – Research - # studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/inform management ​Enter the number of studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management or inform management decisions
​Educational/Interpretative Signs Installed ​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives – Outreach/Education - # of educational signs installed ​Enter the number of educational signs installed by project
​Tree Planting ​Habitat Management – Green Infrastructure - # trees planted ​Enter the number of trees planted​

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • ​Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, and educational institutions.
  • Applicants must be able to comply with the OMB guidance in subparts A through F of 2 CFR 200 (OMB Uniform Guidance​).
  • Ineligible applicants include businesses, unincorporated individuals, U.S. Federal government agencies, and international organizations.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • ​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 San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Trails Management Program will award approximately $150,000 in grants in partnership with the Angeles National Forest. Grants ranging between $25,000 - $50,000 each will be awarded to successful applicants working to protect and improve trails, trail user experiences, and natural resources within the SGMNM, while building citizen-based resource stewardship. These grants require minimum matching contributions valued at 1:1 of total project costs.  All SGMNM Trails Management grant funded activities must be completed on or before June 30, 2019.

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 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.

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 – 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.)

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. Federal wage provisions (Davis-Bacon or Service Contract Act) are applicable to any contractual services included in proposal budgets.

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.

Quality Assurance – If a project involves significant monitoring, data collection or data use, grantees will be asked to prepare and submit quality assurance documentation (www.epa.gov/quality).  Applicants should budget time and resources to complete this task.

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 SGMNM Trails Management Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information.

​​Applicant Webinar:
​Thursday, July 12, 2018
​Full Proposal Due Date:
​Monday, July 30, 2018
​Review Period:
​August 2018
Awards Announced:
​September 2018

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 PDF version of this RFP can be download​ed here.

A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downlo​aded 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: 

Jim Bond - Southern California Forests Programs Manager
Jim.Bond@nfwf.org; 415-243-3107

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.​​​


​Appendix A

On-the-ground trail maintenance activities allowable through this grant opportunity include:

  1. ​Light Trail Maintenance
    1. ​Brushing: up to 10 feet above, 5 feet wide from trail centerline
    2. Tread Work: removing litter/duff, filling small holes, trail grade sloping, removing sluff/sediment, clearing drainage features
  2. ​Medium Maintenance/Light Construction
    1. ​Tread Work: removing large amounts of sluff/sediment, stabilizing trail tread (fill slope, compacting, installing rock trail retaining features), drainage feature construction/reconstruction
    2. Repair of existing retaining walls
    3. Hazard tree removal/downed tree removal

All work will be consistent with allowable activities as described within the existing NEPA Categorical Exclusion for trail maintenance, and according to USFS Trail standards and specifications. New construction of structures/trail segments requiring new or additional environmental analysis MAY also be conducted if: the proposed work can pass approval through a short analysis period AND work can be fully implemented by June 30, 2019. Project funds may be used to support compliance related costs.

Table A.1 below provides a list of priority trails targeted by the ANF for this grant opportunity, however applicants are not restricted to work solely on these trail segments. However, any trail projects through this grant opportunity must occur within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument/Angeles National Forest. If your organization is interested in conducting projects activities outside of this list it is recommended you contact Jim Bond, NFWF Program Manager, to share your idea and ensure your proposed activities would be competitive for this funding opportunity.

ANF Priority Trails Zoom 2018 RFP

Table A.1 Priority Trail Segments for San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Restoration

Trail Number Name​ Approx. Trail Length (miles) ​Additional Notes
​239W10 ​Bear Creek Trail ​10.2 ​Intermittent repairs needed: ~5 miles
​239W06 ​Windy Gap Trail​ ​2.3
​239W08 ​Islip Ridge Trail ​4.3
​237W02 ​Baldy Bowl Trail ​3.4 ​Intermittent repairs needed: ~1 mile​
​237W06 ​Three T’s Trail  ​5.3  ​Intermittent repairs needed: ~3 miles
​237W07  ​Chapman Trail ​4.7 ​Last mile only
​237W08 ​Ontario Peak Trail ​2.7
​338W03 ​Mine Gulch ​4.4 ​First ½ mile only
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