Desert Rivers-Rio Grande 2017 Request for Quotations

DEADLINE:  February 24, 2017

Requesting Organization:  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005

Program Contact:  Chris West, Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office,, #303-222-6484



The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified contractor to work with NFWF and federal and local partners to develop the Middle Rio Grande Water Leasing Program (the contemplated contract). The successful offeror will be selected through this Request for Quotations (RFQ), and NFWF invites qualified individuals or entities to submit Quotations to complete the work as outlined in this document.

Only one award will be made for this contract. The contract period of performance is targeted for  March 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017. In addition to the overall cost and hourly rates, NFWF also welcomes offerors to submit information or comment on the type of contract contemplated (i.e., firm-fixed price, cost reimbursable, time and materials, etc.).



For several years, NFWF and partners in the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) watershed in New Mexico have been exploring conservation efforts that would address issues of environmental water needs and the potential for voluntary water transactions to support collaborative water management of Middle Rio Grande with an eye towards increasing conservation outcomes and productivity for agricultural and other water users.  A revised Biological Opinion (BiOp) that addresses the actions needed to be taken to conserve habitat for a number of species found in the MRG was issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in December 2016. 

A key directive of NFWF’s conservation strategy is addressing the BiOp’s stated need to develop a voluntary water leasing program in the MRG. This effort is underway and NFWF is now seeking a contractor to assist NFWF’s program and science staff in the development of such a program in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) and other entities.   



The organizations involved in this effort do not have the ability to independently provide the policy and technical expertise needed to develop a comprehensive water leasing program, and seek to have this work supported by a contractor experienced in water transactions program development, the hydrology of the MRG, the local political and land use context, and the legal context of the Endangered Species Act.

NFWF anticipates that the contractor will coordinate activities and will assist NFWF staff and project partners in developing a proposal that will serve as a guide for future public and private investments in water flows and conservation in the area with a particular focus on voluntary water leasing at appropriate scales.

The contractor will support NFWF in developing and refining a proposed scope of work (including program thresholds and deliverables) and budget for a 5-year cooperative agreement with the BOR, focused on developing and implementing a voluntary environmental water leasing and riparian habitat restoration program in the MRG basin. Phase I of this effort has been completed and included the development of a high-level scope of work, conceptual implementation plan, and preliminary budget for near-term discussions with BOR.

Phase II (this contract) will build on several prior assessments of water leasing opportunities in the basin as well as guidance previously gathered from BOR and other key MRG stakeholders. Phase II will focus on refinement of the high-level plan in response to feedback and guidance from BOR, consultations with the MRGCD, and others.

NFWF and partners will provide the selected contractor with background information on past and current conservation actions taken in the region.  

The selected contractor(s) will be tasked to complete the items listed below and provide final products as agreed upon with NFWF staff within the timeframe of the contract, which will end on August 31, 2017, unless extended by mutual agreement of the contractor and NFWF.



The contract deliverables will include:

  • Interim written and verbal progress reports
  • Refined versions of Scope of Work, Program Thresholds and Budget
  • An application for cooperative agreement with BOR developed in cooperation with NFWF Program and Science Staff
  • Final report due at the conclusion of the contract
  • Attendance at one to three in person meetings in New Mexico with program partners

These deliverables may be expanded or refined by mutual agreement of NFWF and the contractor(s).



Statements of Quotations will be evaluated and scored by NFWF program and science staff on the following criteria. Statements should be single-spaced in Word format or a searchable PDF, with a minimum 11 point font, and not to exceed the indicated page or word limits. Offerors should organize their Statement based on these sections:

A.   Understanding of the Program, Landscape and Scope of Work.  A statement of no more than one (1) page demonstrating an understanding of hydrology and context for water leasing and habitat restoration in the Middle Rio Grande basin.

B.   Report Development Approach.  A description of no more than three (3) pages outlining a proposed technical approach for developing the next steps of the program.

C.   Qualifications of Proposed Personnel. 

D.   Contract Type (Optional). The offeror may provide information or comment on the type of contract (i.e., firm-fixed price, cost reimbursable, time and materials, etc.).  Such information shall not exceed one (1) page.



Eligible offerors are institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state, and Indian tribal governments.

By submitting a Statement of Qualifications in response to this solicitation, the offeror warrants and represents that it does not currently have any apparent or actual conflict of interest, as described below.  In the event an offeror currently has, will have during the life of the contemplated contract, or becomes aware of an apparent or actual conflict of interest, in the event an award is made, the offeror must notify NFWF in writing in the Statement of Qualifications, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the Statement of Qualifications) of such apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest. 

Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the contractor, the contractor’s employees, or the contractor’s subcontractors in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the award and any other outside interests, or otherwise.  Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the offeror, the offeror’s employees, or the offeror’s future subcontractors in the matter.  Upon receipt of such a notice, the NFWF Contracting Officer will determine if a conflict of interest exists and, if so, if there are any possible actions to be taken by the offeror to reduce or resolve the conflict.  Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies NFWF may result in the proposal not being selected for award. 

By submitting a Statement of Qualifications in response to this solicitation, the offeror warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:

Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension, ” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions can be found at


7.   STATEMENT OF RFQ DEADLINES  (Subject to change)

February 10, 2017                    Request for Qualifications (RFQ) released.

February 24, 2017​                     Statements of Quotations must be received

                                                    electronically as an email attachment by Chris West

                                                    ( by 11:00 PM EDT.

February 28, 2017                     NFWF will notify all RFQ offerors of their status

                                                     and successful offerors will be awarded contract(s).

March 1 - Aug 31, 2017           Contractor’s period of performance.



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