RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Below we list upcoming trainings, seminars, and conferences happening in the southern US, as well as headline stories, reports, and funding sources pertinent to Southern Conservation Partners' mission and interests.
Photo by Mike Dunn
Tell your U.S. Senators and Representatives not to accept reductions in national programs for environmental resource protection.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Upcoming conferences of interest in the Southern U.S. . . . We invite you to provide us with information about other conferences concerning protection and enhancement of environmental resources.
More information on 2023 conferences coming soon!
Land Trust Alliance southeast US regional conference: April 26-28, 2023, in Chattanooga, TN.
Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies 77th annual conference: Oct. 15-18 in Corpus Christi, Texas https://seafwa.org/conference/2023
Conservation News Headlines and Featured Resources
Tips for Nonprofit Conservation Organizations
EVALUATING YOUR PERFORMANCE:
How to tell if you're doing things right and doing the right things
Do you ever wonder how well your organization is performing, if you’re making a real difference, or if you could do better? It’s critically important for all nonprofit conservation and environmental organizations to periodically assess their programs and operating procedures, and honestly ask: Are we doing things right, and are we doing the right things?
INSURANCE OPTIONS for Nonprofits Private, nonprofit organizations involved in conserving and protecting land, water, wildlife, and other environmental resources and natural heritage assets need insurance coverage. A common misconception among nonprofit groups is that dues-paying membership in one of the national associations of conservation organizations is a prerequisite for eligibility in any of the alternative liability insurance plans. That is not true. A local land conservation or river protection organization does NOT have to be a dues-paying member of a national association of land trusts or river protection groups to qualify for liability insurance (or even to receive discounted premium rates). We recommend that you investigate optional sources of insurance coverage available for nonprofit organizations. Select the insurance company and policies that are best for you: Download this Fact Sheet.
CONSERVATION TRAINING Available Online, Free-of-Charge
Conservation Training (“learn globally, conserve locally”) offers open and free learning from The Nature Conservancy and partners, sharing training on a wide variety of environmental resource conservation and action planning subjects and professional development skills, with over 25,000 users from around the world.
ONLINE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT GUIDANCE RESOURCES for LANDOWNERS
There is a great and unmet need to provide private landowners guidance and assistance to design natural resource conservation plans and implement good, productive, restorative practices on their conserved properties.
We recommend the USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service local office as the first place for a landowner to go for help in preparing and implementing a conservation plan to manage and restore natural resources on the landscape. To learn more and identify your local USDA Service Center visit www.nrcs.usda.gov . Establishing a Conservation Plan qualifies a landowner to receive financial and technical assistance to implement land, water, and wildlife conservation actions.
Another dependable source of assistance is from professional staff at your local Soil and Water Conservation District.
American Forest Foundation (“we grow stewardship every day”) supplies helpful guidance to America's 22 million family forestland owners and their management advisers. AFF operates the FREE web-based resource for forestland owners who want to apply good forest, land, water and wildlife conservation practices on their properties. The AFF website is used by as many as 10,000 landowners monthly ; see www.MyLandPlan.org.
Resources First Foundation (“Connecting People to Conservation”), a nonprofit organization, operates the Private Landowner Network, a nationwide directory of more than 27,000 conservation resources, articles, and professionals, helping landowners to navigate the complex choices of good land stewardship and conservation. The online library provides access to a suite of online resources that encourage and help private landowners (who own more than 60 percent of America’s landscape) to participate in good land stewardship and implement conservation practices on their land. Instructions on how to add information and profiles of other sources of land management assistance to landowners HERE.
Several southern states provide online guidance menus of conservation resources and information to landowners, outdoor recreationists and sportsmen, and other conservation-minded individuals:
We recommend an excellent conservation planning guide for landowners, which while produced for North Carolina owners of "working" farm and forestlands, is applicable for landowners in all other Southern states.
"The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and . . . most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope."
Project Funding Sources
Land Trust Alliance and Open Space Institute Announce Nearly $400,000 in Grants to Help Communities Plan for Climate Change
The Land Trust Alliance and the Open Space Institute in late 2021 announced nearly $400,000 in grants aimed at enabling communities to better plan for climate change and its devastating effects. The grants, awarded to local land trusts and nonprofits, help communities incorporate science into strategic land protection and stewardship, to harness forests’ natural abilities to protect and capture carbon while ensuring plants and animals can adapt to a changing climate. Learn More...
U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program requests applications.
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP) is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access. Interested local government and nonprofit applicants must submit applications to the State Forester. All applications, either hardcopy or electronic, must be received by State Foresters or Tribal governments by January 6th, 2020. State Foresters or Tribal government officials must forward applications to the appropriate Forest Service Regional office or International Institute of Tropical Forestry by February 6th, 2020. Read the full announcement here.
Agricultural Land Conservation Easements Funding
Greater funding for purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands was provided to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in the 2018 national Farm Bill. For the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), USDA NRCS is developing the new Farm Bill regulation and policies for fall publication and preparing for the coming Fiscal Year 2020 enrollments. The Farm Bill authorized $450 million for ACEP implementation each year for the coming four years. Highlights of new Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) policies include increased flexibility for ways to match funds. And also the requirement for an ALE Plan has been simplified to a Conservation Plan. NRCS accepts applications year-round.
Additionally, the funding for the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is open for 90 days with applications from partners accepted through December 3rd. The new RCPP enables “RCPP easements” which expand the eligible land uses to more than those traditionally allowed under the ACEP covered program authority. NRCS encourages those that are interested to read the full funding announcement.
Conservation Alliance Offers Grants for Conservation and Recreation Projects.
The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor businesses that supports efforts to protect specific wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Before applying for funding, an organization must first be nominated by one of our member companies. Click here for a list of members. Members nominate organizations by completing and submitting a nomination form. They accept grant requests up to $50,000. Please review the funding criteria before seeking a nomination.
The Conservation Fund's Conservation Loan Program. Read reflections on TCF's history of creating "community wealth." Read blog post .
EPA Environmental Education Grants
Under the Environmental Education Grants Program, EPA awards grants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. MORE INFORMATION.
Forest Conservation Program grants
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in partnership with International Paper have renewed and expanded its commitment to the Forestland Stewards grant program, increasing its overall contribution to $10 million. Forestland Stewards is one of the most effective public-private partnerships for forest conservation in the United States, and to date has funded 44 projects that have restored, enhanced or protected more than 190,000 acres of forest habitat. The new projects targeted for grant funded assistance will be in the low-country coastal region of South and North Carolina; the Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky, Tennessee, and northern Georgia and Alabama; and in the "piney woods" region of east Texas and Louisiana. Because of the effective conservation successes within these landscapes, International Paper and NFWF will expand the partnership into a fourth landscape, the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, in a concentrated effort to restore and protect bottomland hardwood forests and associated wildlife, including migratory and wading birds, wintering waterfowl, and other terrestrial and aquatic species. As this program initiative enters its 6th year of grant-making, the partnership anticipates exceeding its goal to protect and restore more than 540,000 acres of critical forestlands. For more information consult the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: www.nfwf.org.
Gulf of Mexico Natural Resources Damage Restoration grants: Trustees of the Gulf of Mexico Natural Rsources Damage Restoration program are allocating $8.8 billion dollars to restore natural resources injured during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Trustees have adopted a programmatic restoration plan to guide their decision-making. The five goals of the NRDA restoration plan are to: 1) restore and conserve habitat; 2) restore water quality; 3) replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources; 4) provide and enhance recreational opportunities; and 5) provide for monitoring, adaptive management, and administrative oversight. Restoration plans are being implemented through seven Trustee Implementation Groups (TIGs). For more information, visit the NRDA Trustees website.
Gulf of Mexico Coastal Environmental Grants: NFWF Announces New Round of Grants from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded more than $101.5 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to environmental protection and restoration projects in the five Gulf coastal states. The projects, developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To date, the fund has received $1.65 billion. NFWF has awarded nearly $1 billion, or more than 50 percent of available funds. For more information about the selected projects, visit the GEBF webpage.
Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund 2021 RFP
NFWF will award approximately $24 million in grants to create and restore natural systems to help protect coastal communities from the impacts of coastal storms, floods, sea-level rise, inundation, coastal erosion, wildfires, and associated landslides/debris flows, and enable communities to recover more quickly from these events, all while improving habitats for fish and wildlife species. Learn more
Gulf-Region Agricultural Lands Conservation Initiative: US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Unveils $328 Million Restoration Strategy for Gulf-region Agricultural Lands. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation program has a strategy to improve water quality and help coastal ecosystems heal following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The strategy will guide how USDA will steer conservation efforts on private lands in priority areas of the Gulf of Mexico region. By allocating funds through existing Natural Resource Conservation Service programs, USDA moves efficiently to encourage and accomplish on-the-ground conservation action on forests, farms and other private landholdings. Read more about the program on the USDA website.
Restore America's Estuaries Gulf Region Grants Program
Restore America’s Estuaries partnering with CITGO will provide grants to organizations and groups interested in hosting locally-based volunteer events along the Gulf of Mexico. These grants are intended to provide coastal groups with funding to host beach clean-ups, estuary restoration, or other educational events. Learn more
Healthy Watersheds Grant Program
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. (Endowment) manages the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. Grant funds available come through partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).Funding for Healthy Watershed Consortium grant program is expected to continue in the future. The program’s goal is to accelerate the strategic protection of healthy freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds across the country.
The primary focus for the grant applicants is expected to be protection and stewardship of the landscape that comprises a watershed, rather than restoration of degraded habitats or projects with a strictly water quality improvement outcome. Grant program goals will be achieved by:
• Funding key projects identified in existing watershed protection or conservation plans;
• Building the sustainable organizational infrastructure, social support, and long-term funding commitments necessary to implement large-scale protection of healthy watersheds; and
• Supporting innovative or catalytic projects that may accelerate or broadly advance the field of practice for watershed protection efforts. More information.
Healthy watersheds are those in which the hydrological, biological, and land-based functions of the ecosystem are largely intact. Protection refers to actions that conserve healthy aquatic ecosystems and the supporting natural and managed landscape and watershed processes, such as hydrology, that support them. Rather than waiting until a watershed is negatively impacted and attempting to restore it to health, the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program seeks to protect and sustain healthy watersheds so that they will continue to provide ecological services such as clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, recreation, and protection from natural hazards.
See the Endowment’s Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant program website for more information about the grant program: http://www.usendowment.org/healthywatersheds.html.
Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund grants program
The Network for Landscape Conservation (NLC) in January 2019 launched major five-year national grant program to accelerate the pace and practice of collaborative conservation at the landscape scale.Through generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund will distribute at least $1 million in funding to landscape conservation partnerships across the United States over the first three-year period, and offer supplemental training and mentoring to grantees. The Fund will be administered by the Network’s fiscal sponsor, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation. The Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund will focus specifically on addressing the critical need for building capacity for landscape conservation partnerships by investing in the “backbone” coordination of the collaborative process and in supporting key stepping stone activities necessary to achieve broad-based partnership support and conservation on the ground. The program RFP will be announced and opened for grant applications on March 1, 2019. LEARN MORE HERE . The Network for Landscape Conservation is the community of practice for practitioners advancing collaborative, cross-boundary conservation as an essential approach to protect nature, culture, and community.
Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Restoration grant program.
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 in the southern U.S. The Longleaf Stewardship Fund is a landmark public-private partnership supported with Federal funding from the USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Defense, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and private funding from International Paper’s Forestland Stewards Partnership, Southern Company, Altria Group, the American Forest Foundation’s Southern Woods for At-Risk Wildlife Partnership, and Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation affiliated with The Moore Charitable Foundation. Review the RFP available at Longleaf Stewardship Fund RFP for funding priorities, competitive criteria, and eligibility guidelines. Interested applicants may contact Jon Scott at email@example.com,
National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program Offers Funding.
The NCWCG program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service provides grants to acquire, restore, and enhance wetlands in coastal states through competitive matching grants to state agencies. The primary goal of the Program is the long-term conservation of coastal wetland ecosystems. Projects can include: 1) Acquisition of a real property interest (e.g., conservation easement or fee title) in coastal lands or waters (coastal wetlands ecosystems) from willing sellers or partners for long-term conservation; 2) Restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetlands ecosystems; or 3) A combination of acquisition, restoration, and management. All projects must ensure long-term (at least 20 years) conservation. Nonprofits must work with their state agencies to have projects considered. MORE INFORMATION. For more information, visit grants.gov and search for F17AS00108.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant programs
NFWF is the nation's largest source of grant funds to public agencies and private organizations for protection and restoration of imperiled native species and natural habitats in North America. Since its creation by Congress in 1984, the Foundation has supported more than 14,000 conservation projects nationwide with combined funding of nearly $3 billion. NFWF supports more than 70 grant programs and works with over 15 federal agencies and 45 corporate and foundation partners in financing those grant programs. NFWF's WEBSITE provides instructions for online grant application.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, Southern Company, and BNSF Railway annually solicit applications for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The program seeks to help communities develop the capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations, with a focus on improving water quality, watersheds, and the species and habitats they support. Projects eligible for grants include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education, and stewardship. Ecological improvements may include one or more of the following: wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation, community tree canopy enhancement, water quality monitoring and green infrastructure best management practices for managing runoff. Projects should increase access to the benefits of nature, reduce the impact of environmental hazards, and engage local communities, particularly underserved communities, in project planning, outreach and implementation. Proposals are due January 30, 2020. For additional information on program priorities, project metrics, and eligibility criteria, visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.
National Coastal Resilience Fund Request for Proposals.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) administers the National Coastal Resilience Fund. NFWF will make investments to restore and strengthen natural systems so they can protect coastal communities from the impacts of storms, floods, and other natural hazards and enable them to recover more quickly, while also enhancing habitats for important fish and wildlife populations. NFWF will award approximately $29 million in grants to create, expand, and restore natural systems in areas that will both increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea- and lake-level changes, inundation, and coastal erosion while also improving valuable habitats for fish and wildlife species. NFWF will invest in projects in three focus areas:
National Forest Foundation solicits proposals for its Matching Awards Program (MAP). MAP is a nationally competitive grant program that provides federal funds for direct on-the-ground projects benefiting America’s National Forests and Grasslands. The program supports action-oriented projects that enhance outdoor experiences, forest and ecosystem health, and engage local communities in caring for their public lands. Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status, universities and Native American tribes are eligible to apply. All projects must show a strong commitment to civic engagement and community involvement through direct public involvement. Grants are awarded for one year and require a 1:1 non-federal cash match. Learn More About MAP
Natural Resources and Conservation Service, USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and Regional Conservation Partnership Programs
NRCS is investing up to $25 million for national Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) projects that develop and demonstrate innovative approaches to natural resource conservation on private agricultural and forest lands. Through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), NRCS co-invests with partners in innovative, workable and cost-effective approaches to benefit farming, ranching and forest operations; local economies; and the communities and resources in a watershed or other geographic area. This funding sources provides grants to public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. For more information, visit the program webpage.
NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to eligible entities and private landowners who seek to conserve agricultural lands and grasslands and protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands. NRCS also funds purchases of conservation easements to protect habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species, including those that are endangered and threatened. Landowners and entities interested in using conservation easements to address natural resource concerns can submit applications at any time to a USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service office. NRCS is currently accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). NRCS strives to help producers and landowners enact environmentally friendly activities such as improving water and air quality, building healthier soils, improving grazing and forest lands, enhancing organic operations and conserving energy. ACEP consists of two separate components, the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) option and the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) option. The ALE component is geared to protect agricultural lands devoted to food production from conversion into non-agricultural uses. The WRE component aims to restore, enhance and protect wetlands through purchase of a wetland reserve easement. Applications for all NRCS financial-assistance programs are accepted on a continuous sign-up process, however specific sign-up deadlines are established to rank, contract and fund qualified tracts of land. For more information, visit the USDA WEBSITE.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Invites Proposals for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), the USDA NRCS co-invests with partners in innovative, workable and cost-effective approaches to benefit farming, ranching and forest operations; local economies; and the communities and resources in a watershed or other geographic area. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program was created by the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA NRCS announced that its Regional Conservation Partnership Program has pooled together $220 million investment from USDA and $500 million from local partners to improve water quality, soil health, and natural habitats in 84 conservation projects. This funding sources provides grants to public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. For more information, visit the program webpage.
The US Department of Agriculture committed to invest $1.2 billion in RCPP partnerships over the life of the 2014-18 Farm Bill. Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect over 400 million acres nationwide, boosting soil and air quality, cleaning and conserving water and enhancing wildlife habitat. For an interactive look at USDA's work in conservation and forestry visit http://medium.com/usda-results.
North America Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Small Grants Program.
The NAWCA Small Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States that further the goals of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. Proposers are encouraged to contact the Joint Venture Coordinator in your project area for assistance with developing a project proposal, for information about how proposals are ranked, and/or for guidance on Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and National Historic Preservation Act compliance requirements. Find out how to connect with your joint venture here. Find out more about the NAWCA Standard Grants Program here. And visit the NAWCA webpage. Learn how to apply for a U.S. Standard NAWCA Grant. View the most recent approved projects.
NOAA Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants
The Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funds projects that develop healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration and conservation. The primary focus of this grants program is to develop healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through on-the-ground habitat restoration actions. Strengthening Coastal Communities includes activities that improve capacity of multiple coastal jurisdictions (states, counties, municipalities, territories, and tribes) to prepare and plan for, absorb impacts of, recover from, and/or adapt to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards. Habitat Restoration includes activities that restore habitat to strengthen the resilience of coastal ecosystems and decrease the vulnerability of coastal communities to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, regional organizations, private entities, and local, state, and tribal governments. Typical award amounts will range from $250,000 to $1 million for projects lasting up to three years. Cost-sharing through cash or in-kind contributions is expected. Projects must be located in one or more of the 35 U.S. coastal states or territories. Visit the NOAA website for more information.
Open Space Institute (OSI) provides grants in the southeastern U.S. through its two complementary land conservation grant funds: Southern Cumberland Land Protection Fund and Southeast Resilient Landscapes Fund. OSI’s Southeast Resilient Landscapes Fund and Southern Cumberland Land Protection Fund provide capital grants to safeguard places that will help wildlife mitigate the effects of a changing climate.. OSI’s grants are particularly focused on safeguarding lands that are most likely to harbor a diversity of plants and animals despite an increasingly unpredictable and changing climate. Eligible projects will permanently protect large unfragmented habitat in one of OSI’s three southeast focus areas, which are in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina. For details on the application process for each fund, please visit OSI’s website
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (based in Greenville, SC)
Collectively, partnerships between the US Endowment for Forestry & Communities and a number of federal government agencies will provide up to $260 million to improve the Nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, protect agricultural viability, and in many cases ensure national security. The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. (Endowment) has a partnership agreement with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The partnership has provided more than $7.5 million to landowners in Mississippi, Georgia, and North Carolina for conservation easements and habitat restoration projects. Projects focus on working forest lands, including longleaf pine, and will enhance restoration of threatened and endangered Species. Funding is also provided for projects that help preclude the potential listing of other species.
The Endowment in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense also manages the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge Grant Program. For more information see the Endowment's website webpage. The request for pre-proposals and the downloadable pre-proposal form are available on the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Community’s webpage or by contacting Peter@usendowment.org. The REPI Challenge seeks to leverage public and private funds for land conservation projects that limit incompatible development or that relieve current or anticipated environmental restrictions on military testing, training, or operations. The Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program matches funds for selected projects that will protect the military mission by helping remove or avoid land-use conflicts near military installations and addressing restrictions that inhibit military activities. This RCPP partnership supports the goals of the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership (www.sentinellandscapes.org). As described on the website, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership enables the U.S. Departments of Defense, Agriculture and the Interior, to achieve their established priorities with at greater cost-sharing, on a wider-scale, and with broader stakeholder buy-in. By aligning programs with state and local governments and non-governmental organizations, private landowners receive better coordinated delivery of Federal programs that provide assistance. Sentinel Landscapes are working or natural lands important to the Nation’s defense mission – places where protecting the working and rural character of key landscapes strengthens the economies of farms, ranches, and forests; conserves habitat and natural resources; and protects vital test and training missions conducted on those military installations that anchor such landscapes.
See also the description (above) of the Healthy Watersheds grant program, also managed by the Endowment.
USDA’s Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership . The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has offered $15 million of grants annually to help eligible conservation partners leverage local investments to provide technical assistance and financial resources for wetlands protection and improvements on private and Tribal agricultural land nationwide. The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) is one way state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and Tribal governments collaborate with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to increase the number of voluntary conservation projects for targeted, high priority wetland protection, restoration and enhancement. Wetland reserve easements allow landowners to enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. More information is available on the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program webpage.
Grants to Strengthen Wildlife Adaptation to Climate Change
Wildlife Conservation Society: Climate Adaptation Fund
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Climate Adaptation Fund supports projects that implement effective interventions for wildlife adaptation to climate change. Grants of $50,000 to $250,000 are provided to nonprofit conservation organizations for applied, on-the-ground projects focused on implementing priority conservation actions for climate adaptation at a landscape scale. In 2018, the Fund is inviting applications for projects that implement joint mitigation and adaptation approaches, in addition to the continuing priority to support wildlife adaptation projects in both urban and rural landscapes. The Fund prioritizes projects that manage dynamic ecological processes, landscape functionality, and species assemblages, rather than those aimed at maintaining historic conditions or individual species. Grants are provided to U.S.-based nonprofit conservation organizations for projects within the 50 states and six U.S. territories. Visit the Wildlife Conservation Society’s website to download the Request for Proposals.
Working Lands for Wildlife
Working Lands for Wildlife is a new partnership between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use agency technical expertise combined with $33 million in financial assistance from the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to combat the decline of seven specific wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs. The Working Lands for Wildlife project will target species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs. For more information, visit the WEBSITE.