- Unique cultural and/or natural areas
- Working landscapes that provide public resource or economic benefit
- Access to public lands and recreation opportunities
Pre-application can be found HERE.
Sierra Nevada Conservancy is now accepting Pre-Applications for the Strategic Lands Conservation Grant Program
Strategic Land Conservation Grant ProgramThe Strategic Land Conservation Grant Program supports fee title or easement acquisition projects that permanently protect high-benefit lands that are threatened with conversion, represent unique natural characteristics, or are critical for resilience to climate change. These projects must deliver clear, long-term public benefit and result in conditions that contribute to the health and resiliency of the watershed. Acquisitions may protect, restore, or create:
Pre-application can be found HERE.
USDA Offers Conservation Assistance to Landowners to Protect Wetlands, Agricultural Lands and Grasslands
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2019 –USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest $450 million this year through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to help private landowners, tribes, land trusts and other groups wanting to restore and protect critical wetlands and protect agricultural lands and grasslands.
“For over 25 years, NRCS has worked with landowners to protect their wetlands and agricultural lands,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “Conservation easements are important tools for people who are trying to improve soil health, water and air quality and wildlife habitat on their land.”
ACEP provides assistance to landowners and eligible entities helping conserve, restore and protect wetlands and productive agricultural lands and grasslands. NRCS accepts ACEP applications year-round, but applications are ranked and funded by enrollment period, which have application deadlines set by the states. Many states have upcoming deadlines this spring.
Wetland Reserve Easements
Through ACEP Wetland Reserve Easements, NRCS helps landowners and tribes restore, enhance and protect wetland ecosystems. NRCS and the landowner work together to develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the easement.
“Seventy-five percent of the nation's wetlands are situated on private and tribal lands,” Lohr said. “Wetlands provide many benefits, including critical habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. They also store floodwaters, clean and recharge groundwater, sequester carbon, trap sediment and filter pollutants for clean water.”
Wetland conservation easements are either permanent, for 30 years or the maximum extent allowed by state law. Tribal landowners have the added option of enrolling in 30-year non-easement restoration contracts. Eligible lands include:
Through ACEP Agricultural Land Easements (ALE), NRCS provides funds to eligible entities to purchase easements on private working lands. This program helps keep working lands working, especially in areas experiencing development pressure.
Eligible cooperating entities include state or local agencies, non-profits and tribes. Landowners continue to own their property but voluntarily enter into a legal agreement with a cooperating entity to purchase an easement. The cooperating entity applies for matching funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement from the landowner, permanently protecting its agricultural use and conservation values. Landowners do not apply directly to NRCS for funding under ALE.
Easements are permanent. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and forestlands.
ACEP remains a major part of the recently passed 2018 Farm Bill and program implementation will continue during fiscal year 2019 with some minor changes.
Landowners and tribes interested in wetland reserve easements and partners interested in agricultural land easements should contact their local USDA service center.
Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation Announce Awards for the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program
From the March 12, 2019 Press Release:
SACRAMENTO – The California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation
today announced awarding $20 million in block grants for local and regional projects to improve
forest health and increase fire resiliency.
Funded by Cap-and-Trade revenues through California Climate Investments, the Regional Forest
and Fire Capacity Program aims to help communities prioritize, develop, and implement
projects to strengthen fire resiliency, increase carbon sequestration, and facilitate greenhouse
The program is one element of the state’s efforts to improve forest health, protect
communities from wildfire risk and implement the California Forest Carbon Plan and Executive
Order B-52-18. Projects funded through the program will build on priority projects identified by
the Forest Management Task Force and the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection through Executive Order N-05-19.
“Getting this funding out the door will help local communities develop watershed-level projects
that can make a big difference in forest health and fire resiliency,” California Secretary for
Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “With California facing unprecedented wildfire risk, we
need every tool available to put the state on a path toward long-term wildfire prevention and
Six regional block grants are being awarded on a noncompetitive basis to support project
implementation in the North Coast, Central Coast, Sierra Nevada, Klamath-Cascade, and
Southern California Regions. In addition, two grants are being awarded to assist in
implementing statewide efforts.
Regional block grant recipients will oversee distribution of funding and collaborative planning
with local entities including municipal and Tribal governments, nonprofits and community
organizations, fire safe councils, land trusts, resource conservation districts, residents, private
and public forest landowners and managers, businesses, and others to accomplish the
Block grant recipients were selected based on their history of implementing related projects,
demonstrated capacity to work across regional partners, and ability to serve as fiscal
administrators for the program.
Learn more about recipients HERE.
The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program Solicitation Notice has been released. The due date for the application is June 13, 2018.
The purpose of the Watershed Restoration Grant Program is to build resiliency and address immediate issues from the aftermath of recent wildfires, as well as address long-standing environmental challenges, by supporting water quality, river, and watershed protection and restoration projects of statewide importance outside the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Funds will support planning or implementation projects that address at least one of the following priorities:
DAVIS, Calif., December 7, 2017 - USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP offers two easement options, Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). A total of $4.8 million has initially been made available for ACEP applicants throughout California.
“Easements are important tools for landowners who are trying to conserve their land.” said Ray Dotson, acting NRCS state conservationist in California. "ACEP provides a means to keep working land in production, preserve open space, and greatly benefit our state’s natural resources and wildlife."
Under the ALE component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement to protect farming and ranching on privately owned cropland, rangeland, nonindustrial forestland, pastureland, and grasslands of special environmental significance. Approved agricultural easements prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food production. Landowners are encouraged to work with a local or regional eligible entity to apply for the program, such as a land trust or non-governmental organization with an established record of conserving farms and ranches.
WRE compensates farmers, ranchers and other private landowners for land placed in wetland conservation easements, and shares the cost of restoring degraded wetlands. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in a 30-year contract. WRE also includes a Grazing Reserve Rights option which allows participants with an approved wetland and grazing management plan to enroll grazed land. The grazing rights option is available in three geographic areas: coastal pastures and wetlands of the north coast, California vernal pools, and intermountain wetlands of eastern California. Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS field office to apply for the program.
ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS. However, applications must be submitted by January 19, 2018, to be considered for fiscal year 2018 ACEP funding.
As with all NRCS easements, the landowner retains the title to the land, and the right to control access and recreational use. The land remains on the tax rolls. Learn more about ACEP by visiting www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.
CDFW has released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 Draft Proposal Solicitation Notice (PDF) for its Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs for public review and and comments.
CDFW will host a public meeting on Thursday, April 10, 2017, to discuss the draft Solicitation. See meeting details and agenda (PDF). The public is invited to attend and provide input and comments. The deadline to submit comments is April 21, 2017. Comments may be emailed to WatershedGrants@Wildlife.ca.gov.
Please visit CDFW's Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs web page for more information on the programs.
In 2016 alone, more than 5,700 wildfires burned across the state of California according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. And despite record rain this winter, climate change is expected to increase the number of large wildfires as well as the length of the wildfire season in California. To help Californian communities meet this challenge, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) launched its Better Together Resilient Communities grant program today.
Through the program, PG&E will invest $1 million over five years – or $200,000 per year – in shareholder-funded grants to help communities better prepare for, withstand, and recover from extreme events and other risks related to climate change. This year, the company is calling for proposals that will build healthy and resilient forests and watersheds to help communities prevent and prepare for increasing wildfire risk.
“At PG&E, we believe adapting to the reality of climate change must include helping our communities to become more resilient to its many potential effects, such as the risk of wildfires. One way to do that is to work closely with our local partners, as well as those at the state and federal level, to support the best and most innovative ideas -- with a particular focus on those who live in highly vulnerable areas,” said Geisha Williams, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation.
PG&E will award two grants of $100,000 through a competitive process. A panel of community and sustainability leaders, including the League of California Cities and members of PG&E's Sustainability Advisory Council will play an advisory role with the program.
Strategies and solutions resulting from the grants will be made publicly available to help all communities, and encourage local and regional partnerships.
“Climate change is having extreme effects on our planet, and the state of California is facing increasing weather-related risks, including more frequent and more intense wildfires. I applaud PG&E for partnering with vulnerable communities on this science-based climate change resilience initiative. This new grant program will help Californians prepare for a future with more wildfires and other impacts from a changing climate,” said Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences and member of PG&E’s Sustainability Advisory Council.
“We’re delighted to see PG&E taking this leadership role in helping protect California’s communities from wildfire. As we work to ensure a safe, sustainable environment for our firefighters, their families, and our communities, it is essential to gain a better understanding of how to reduce the risks climate change and wildfires pose to lives and property,” said Lou Paulson, President, California Professional Firefighters.
“Extreme weather and climate change are threatening the safety of communities across central and northern California. With wildfire and other risks increasing to historic levels, we must generate innovative, collaborative solutions to succeed. We applaud PG&E for offering a program that focuses on these risks and encourages the collaboration needed to keep our communities safe now and in the years to come,” said Tom Trott, general manager of Twain Harte Community Services District.
Grant Criteria and Eligibility
Grant proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:
To be eligible, applicants must be a governmental organization, educational institution or 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All applicants must include a local government within PG&E's service area as a partner.
Learn more about the grants and how to apply at pge.com/resiliencegrants.
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Grant Program timeline
The grant application process and project timeline is as follows:
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (“NFWF”) Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program (“ILF Program”) was established in October 2014 and approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (each an “Agency” and collectively the “Agencies”) in accordance with the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources Final Rule (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332; and 40 CFR Part 230) (the “2008 Rule”).
The ILF Program offers permittees an in-lieu fee option to satisfy their compensatory mitigation obligations as determined by any of the Agencies, as applicable, for impacts to aquatic resources authorized under the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and other applicable laws, in the “Program Area,” which covers the geographic area under the jurisdiction of the Sacramento District of the USACE within California. For reference, the overall Program Area is subdivided under the ILF Program into discrete geographies comprising 17 “Aquatic Resource Service Areas” and 12 “Vernal Pool Service Areas.” The ILF Program offers two types of Credits: 1) Vernal Pool Credits for authorized impacts to vernal pool wetlands; and 2) Aquatic Resource Credits for authorized impacts to wetlands (excluding vernal pools), other Waters of the United States, Waters of the State, and certain species.
As a result of sales of Aquatic Resource Credits and Vernal Pool Credits to date, NFWF has accumulated certain funds that may be made available to fund projects that establish, enhance, restore, or, in certain circumstances, preserve wetland resources in an applicable Service Area (“ILF Projects”). NFWF is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to solicit proposals for the implementation of eligible ILF Projects to be funded through the ILF Program.
Pre-Proposal due date: March 17, 2017
Full Proposal due date: April 21, 2017
More information and the application can be found HERE.
WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Available from Bureau of Reclamation for On-the-Ground Watershed Management Projects
Cooperative Watershed Management Program allows watershed groups to partner with Reclamation to complete on-the-ground watershed management projects
Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a funding opportunity for the Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase II grants, which provides funding to watershed groups for on-the-ground watershed management projects. The funding opportunity announcement is available at www.grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity BOR-DO-17-F013. Applications are due on February 15, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. MST.
Funding will be provided on a cost-share basis for projects that improve the ecological resiliency of rivers, streams and riparian areas, conserve water for multiple uses, and reduce conflicts over water through collaborative management efforts within the watershed. Eligible project types include, but are not limited to, projects to improve stream channel structure and complexity, water conservation or management activities that improve ecological resilience, and projects to address water quality issues.
The President's budget request includes $1.75 million for the Cooperative Watershed Management Program. It is anticipated that 14 to 16 awards will be made under this funding opportunity.
To be eligible, applicants must be a grassroots, nonregulatory watershed group that addresses water availability and quality issues within the relevant watershed, represent a diverse group of stakeholders, and can promote the sustainable use of water resources within the watershed. The applicant must also have approved articles of incorporation and bylaws and have developed a restoration plan and project concepts for the watershed.
Learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program and this new funding opportunity at https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp.
WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior’s sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.