The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for the 2012 Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI) grants cycle. The NPCI grant program is conducted in cooperation with the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA), a partnership between the Foundation, ten federal agencies, and more than 270 non-governmental organizations. PCA provides a framework and strategy for linking resources and expertise in developing a coordinated national approach to the conservation of native plants. Since 1995, the NPCI grant program has funded multi-stakeholder projects that focus on the conservation of native plants and pollinators under any of the following 6 focal areas: conservation, education, restoration, research, sustainability, and data linkages. These 6 focal areas are the core strategies for native plant conservation, as outlined by the Plant Conservation Alliance National Framework for Progress.
Eligible applicants include 501(c) non-profit organizations and local, state, or federal government agencies. For-profit businesses and individuals are not eligible to apply directly to this program, but are encouraged to work with eligible applicants to develop and submit proposals. Organizations or projects that have received funding and have been successfully completed under this program are eligible and encouraged to re-apply.
Eligible projects will directly address the plant conservation priorities established by one or more of the funding federal agencies (see Funding Sources and Areas of Interest) and fall within at least one of the 6 focal areas outlined in the Plant Conservation Alliance Native Plant Conservation Strategies (see below). In addition:
Projects that include a pollinator conservation component are also encouraged.
Projects require a minimum 1:1 non-federal match by project partners, including cash or in-kind contributions of goods or services (such as volunteer time).
Projects must be technically sound and carried out by qualified organizations. Documentation of technical assistance received or review by appropriate state and federal agencies is encouraged.
Projects conducted on federal agency land should include letters of support from appropriate agency program managers familiar with the work.
We encourage applicants to make connections with the Keystone species and habitats, if possible, as listed on the NFWF website, www.nfwf.org/keystones.
Basic research projects are unlikely to be funded unless of direct relevance to the management of native plants by a participating federal agency. Also unlikely to be funded are projects requesting funding for graduate student research. Projects that primarily involve the control of invasive or noxious weeds should consider the Foundation's "Pulling Together Initiative" (PTI), rather than NPCI.
NPCI funds CANNOT be used to:
Support political advocacy or lobbying. "Lobbying" is defined as "attempting to persuade members of any legislative or administrative branch, on the federal, tribal, state, or local level, to enact, defeat, or repeal legislation or regulations."
Support litigation expenses or direct land acquisition costs.
Supplement shortfalls in government agency budgets. For example, funds cannot be used for salaries of permanent federal employees.
It is anticipated that the Native Plant Conservation Initiative will award a total of $380,000 this year. The range of award amounts is typically $15,000-$65,000, with some exceptions.
Funding Sources and Areas of Interest
Funds for NPCI grants are currently provided by three federal agencies:
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds are available for native plant conservation projects on National Wildlife Refuges and for projects on private or public lands that directly benefit the conservation of FWS trust species (e.g., those plant species formally listed as Endangered or Threatened by the Service, or protected under international treaty).
Bureau of Land Management funds are available for native plant conservation projects on BLM lands, or for work on non-BLM lands that is of direct relevance to the management of BLM lands. For BLM investments on private lands, please note that the willing landowner must voluntarily sign a legally binding agreement with the BLM that will protect and secure the taxpayers' investment. A statement signed by the landowner indicating that he or she is aware of the requirement to sign such an agreement with the BLM must be included with the proposal.
USDA Forest Service funds are available for projects that directly benefit the conservation of native plants on Forest Service lands, or for projects on non-Forest Service lands that directly benefit the Forest Service mission.
Plant Conservation Alliance Strategies
The Plant Conservation Alliance strategies for native plant conservation are summarized below.
Bring people and organizations together to share resources and talents to effectively conserve the nation's native plants.
Provide opportunities for people to enjoy, understand, and value native plants and plant communities.
Ensure conservation and restoration of native plants and natural plant communities through ecosystem-based management.
Encourage the scientific community to conduct research and technology development in support of native plant conservation.
Encourage practices that support appropriate and sustainable uses of beneficial plants.
Promote the development and use of coordinated databases and information-sharing to support native plant conservation.
More information on these Strategies, along with actions for implementing them, are found in the Plant Conservation Alliance National Framework for Progress.
Application Process and Schedule
NPCI Applications must complete the online pre-proposal application form through the NFWF e-grants system (<www.nfwf.org/grantapplication>). The deadline for pre-proposals is 11:59 PM EST on May 25th, 2012.
Applicants invited to submit a full proposal will receive instructions via e-mail for accessing the full proposal form by June 29th, 2012. Full proposals are due on August 24th, 2012, by 11:59 PM EST.
Formal announcements of 2011 NPCI recipients will be made on November 19th, 2012. Please do not contact the Foundation regarding the status of your proposal prior to this date.
NPCI Program Contact
For information regarding the NPCI program or on-line Easygrants application procedure, please contact Teal Edelen (<email@example.com>) at 202-857-0166.
Applicant frequently asked questions for NFWF grants (<www.nfwf.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Applicant_FAQs>)
Plant Conservation Alliance Website (www.nps.gov/plants/index.htm)
Plant Conservation Alliance Strategies, along with actions for implementing these strategies (<www.nps.gov/plants/strategy.htm>)
Pollinator Partnership, for more information about pollinator conservation (www.pollinator.org/projects.htm)
Previous NPCI Projects: The projects described below demonstrate how the NPCI program has evolved over the years.