Sagebrush Landscapes Conservation Program 2019 Request for Proposals

Funder Name or Agency: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Elligible Entities: Federal Agency, Tribal Governments, State Agency, Local Government and Utility Districts, Non-Profit Organization, Business or Corporation
Deadline: August 14, 2019
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OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for projects that conserve, restore and enhance sagebrush and associated habitat. The objectives of the Sagebrush Landscapes Conservation Program are to support several strategic projects that accelerate and implement cross-jurisdictional management collaborations and/or provide transfer of knowledge and implementation of specific priority conservation practices including:

  • Mesic area/wet meadow restoration
  • Innovative and strategic management of annual invasive grasses in Idaho and Wyoming

Preference will be given to projects that accelerate adoption of the most cost effective and sustainable approaches that exhibit a high likelihood of success. The Sagebrush Landscapes Conservation Program will award approximately $2.6 million. Major funding for this program comes from The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services and the U.S. Forest Service.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

The geographic coverage of the program includes sagebrush landscapes in six different states: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

 PROGRAM PRIORITIES

Much of the sagebrush landscape is checkered by mixed ownership. Generally speaking, throughout the west land ownership adheres to the following pattern: the lower water-rich properties tend to be privately owned, the more arid uplands are typically federally owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and lands located in upper watersheds are frequently managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  When additional state land and other holdings are included, the ability to manage across a landscape becomes complex. Capacity to communicate and assist with management, restoration and enhancement of habitat will address conservation bottlenecks in communities throughout the west. Priority will be given to projects that include a focus on, restoration and enhancement of mesic wet meadows as well as projects in Idaho and Wyoming that result in a reduction of invasive annual grasses and maintenance/increase of desired perennial plants.

All proposals must specifically address how projects for which funds are requested will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of program goals. The Sagebrush Landscapes Conservation Program seeks projects in the following program priorities:

  1.  Mesic Area and Wet Meadow Restoration ($1.705 million available)
    • Many of the species found in the sagebrush landscape are adapted to the arid climate and do not rely exclusively on access to water. However the benefits realized from mesic areas and wet meadows are critical during certain life stages of sagebrush species, including utilization by sage-grouse for brood rearing habitat and critical winter range for elk, mule deer and pronghorn. Threats to these systems include altered hydrology (digging stock ponds or “dirt tanks”), de-watering or diversion of water for irrigation elsewhere, historic eradication of beaver, and mismanagement of grazing which can lead to erosion issues and an ultimate lowering of the water table.
    • Techniques such as installation of rock structures or beaver mimicry are often site specific, and are just recently being adopted and formalized by many of the state and local land management agencies. There is a significant need for investment in these emerging techniques for both the transfer of knowledge and landscape level implementation. Additional practices may include managing adjacent uplands through grazing management or conifer removal to increase mesic area resiliency.
  2. Management/local eradication of invasive annual grasses (cheatgrass, ventenata, or medusahead) on sagebrush rangelands in Idaho or Wyoming ($645K available) 
    • Annual invasive grasses have impacted over 52 million acres of the American west reducing forage capacity of rangelands resulting in negative economic impacts on rural communities, altering and increasing catastrophic wildfire in both size and frequency and vastly altering wildlife habitat.  To proactively address the spread of these species NFWF will consider project in Idaho and Wyoming that, apply integrated, ecologically-based invasive plant management strategies that result in a reduction of invasive annual grasses and maintenance/increase of desired perennial plants. Priority will be given to projects that:
      • Are located within existing conservation priority areas (e.g., sage-grouse priority areas),
      • Strategically address recent or low density annual grass invasion sites
      • Contain monitoring and outreach/demonstration components that share results, successes and lessons learned with other land managers through a dedicated communications component with various publics and promote awareness about invasive annual grass management.
  3. Conduct restoration and survey efforts for endangered Colorado plants, specifically the Colorado Hookless Cactus, DeBeaque Phacelia, and Parachute beardtongue. ($250k available)
    • Implement fencing exclosure projects to protect the endangered hookless cactus (Sclerocactus glaucus) and DeBeque Phacelia (Phacelia submutica) in western Colorado.
    • Conduct surveys for Parachute beardtongue (Penstemon debilis) in western Colorado.

TIMELINE

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

​Full Proposal Due Date: ​Wednesday, August 14th by 11:59 PM, Eastern
Applicant Webinar: ​Wednesday July 17th at 12pm EST/10am MTN
Review Period: ​Late August – September
Awards Announced: ​Mid November​​

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.
  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.