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 Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund 2014 Request for Proposals

Pre-proposal Due Date: June 19, 2014 11:59 PM Eastern time
Full proposal Due Date: August 4, 2014 11:59 PM Eastern time
         

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to further conservation of species and habitats in Alaska. Our conservation strategy for Alaska follows NFWF’s institutional approach of focusing on species outcomes as the main goal, and Phase I includes three focal geographies:  The Arctic- Bering Sea, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, and Cook Inlet/Matanuska-Susitna watershed. Projects outside of these three focal areas that support sustainable fisheries or anadromous fish conservation in Alaska will also be considered. We expect that a significant portion of program funds will be dedicated to filling key information gaps through assessments and strategic monitoring. In addition, the request for proposals includes several funding priorities to help Alaskan communities adapt to changing distributions and pulses in wildlife resources, as well as to mitigate against future threats to species populations.

Support for this program is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ConocoPhillips Alaska, Shell, Donlin Gold LLC, NovaGold Resources, and community service payments from court settlements from various federal pollution law violations. Grants may be awarded using one or more of these sources of funding.

PROGRAM FUNDING PRIORITIES

The Arctic & Bering Sea

Focal species include bearded seals, ringed seals, bowhead whale, polar bear, walrus, caribou, McKay’s Bunting, Steller’s and Spectacled Eiders, Kittlitz’s Murrelet and Arctic breeding shorebirds. Funding emphasis is on mitigating direct threats to species populations, filling key knowledge gaps, and building capacity that will allow people and species to adapt to a changing environment. 

Priority areas for funding include:

  • Support polar bear deterrence programs to minimize threats to villages, eliminate unnecessary mortality to bears, and help implement a successful co-management program.
  • Provide support to communities to expand or establish education and outreach programs that may help avoid mortality in walrus populations.  
  • Reduce risk of vessel disturbance, oil spill contamination, and/or lethal strikes for human hunters, marine mammals, seabirds, and fish.
  • Facilitate improved communication and collaboration between public land managers and local villages.
  • Fill key information gaps on species populations that will result in improved monitoring and management, particularly for focal species likely to be impacted by increased industrial development in the Arctic. 
  • Support conservation planning efforts targeted at minimizing impacts to focal species populations as a result of increased industrial activity in the Arctic. 
  • Estimate Spectacled eider population; complete population assessments McKay’s bunting and “Priblof” rock sandpiper on St. Matthew and Hall Islands.
  • Support predator control programs to increase Steller’s eider nest success around Barrow.
  • Fill breeding and non-breeding information gaps for Kittlitz’s Murrelet in the Bering Sea region, i.e. in Cape Krusenstern National Monument.

Yukon-Kuskokwim Region

The overall goal of the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) focal geography is to conserve the salmon, waterfowl, and shorebirds sustaining the rich and diverse ecological landscape and the people who live there. Focal species for this geography are Chinook salmon, Steller’s eider, and breeding shorebirds. NFWF seeks to support communities on the Y-K to find solutions that mitigate threats to resources and improve capacity for sustainable fish and wildlife management.  

Current priorities for funding include:

  • Facilitate acquisition of improved hydrologic information essential to identify, monitor, and conserve key salmon resources in response to climate change and other factors by partnering  with state and federal agencies  to update the National Hydrography dataset
  • Contribute to understanding of various development scenarios that may be designed or implemented to minimize impacts to natural resources.
  • Develop education and outreach programs that integrate Alaskan Natives into natural resource management programs, species conservation efforts, and monitoring needs. 
  • Support efforts that will increase monitoring and enhance escapement models for Chinook salmon. 
  • Facilitate productive relationships among managers, local users, and commercial interests to find mutually agreeable alternatives for filling subsistence needs during times when Chinook runs are insufficient, in order to better protect those runs from becoming unsustainable.
  • Develop and implement a PRISM survey for breeding shorebirds.
  • Initiate a comprehensive survey of delta communities on subsistence use and take of shorebirds, with an emphasis on understanding current bar-tailed godwit subsistence use.
  • Assess feasibility of Steller’s eider reintroduction on the delta by conducting habitat suitability mapping, re-assessment of lead and contaminants and other potential threats, and assessing eider-habitat associations.

Cook Inlet

NFWF seeks to develop an estuary-wide approach to conservation planning for the Inlet and its watershed. We would also like to help partners identify the factors limiting recovery of Cook Inlet beluga whale, and develop strategies that will improve the viability of this focal species.

NFWF seeks to support the following near-term actions while building a more comprehensive watershed management approach:

  • Studies to monitor eulachon populations in Cook Inlet and in their freshwater tributary spawning areas.
  • Documenting patterns relating beluga distribution to the distribution and availability of their prey, as well as predation by orca whales.
  • Convening Cook Inlet beluga whale modelers/marine mammal and fish experts to develop a population viability analysis model to fill critical information gaps to determine whether or not Cook Inlet will be able to sustain a healthy run of eulachon and salmon and improve the condition of beluga whales in the future. 
  • Identify focal species that represent the habitat types in the Cook Inlet estuary, from the inlet waters to the upper reaches of the watersheds, and develop an implementation plan that will identify priority areas and actions for those species and their habitats through a conservation framework.
  • Facilitate acquisition of improved hydrologic information essential to identify, monitor, and conserve key salmon resources in response to climate change and other factors by partnering with state and federal agencies  to update the National Hydrography dataset.
  • Conduct surveys and assessments using tools such as NetMap to increase miles monitored for the Anadromous Fish Catalog and reserve water for key stream reaches. 

Thematic Areas of Interest

  • Pacific salmon protection, enhancement and restoration: initiatives through the Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships and/or in partnership with USFS, BLM, and NOAA are a priority.
  • Supporting sustainable marine fisheries: gear improvements, filling key knowledge gaps, and understanding fisheries interactions on marine mammal and seabird populations are a priority.

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS

Competitive proposals will include the following information that should be summarized in the pre-proposal and detailed in the full proposal:

  • Project Need:  Describe the species and/or habitats at risk or potentially at risk, a description of its historic and current range, and its importance as part of the greater ecosystem, as well as the factors that have caused a decline in the species population(s) or habitat.  Discuss how the project complements or advances the goals of relevant regional strategic conservation plans, including, but not limited to, Alaska’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and strategic plans prepared by Alaska-based Fish Habitat Partnerships, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Alaska Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, USFWS Coastal and Partners for Fish and Wildlife strategic plans and USFWS priority species plans.
  • Long Term Conservation Outcome(s):  Discuss the quantifiable/measurable long-term outcome(s) for species and/or habitats that will be achieved, including how the project will restore resistance or resilience to climate change in species populations (if applicable).  Identify how the outcome(s) are consistent with the goals of the relevant strategic conservation plans. 
  • Activities:  Elaborate on the primary activities that will be conducted through the proposed project.  Explain how these activities address conservation challenges, what new opportunities will arise from the activities and how they will lead to desired conservation outcome(s) described above.  Describe how these activities relate to relevant regional strategic conservation plans and conservation needs.  Discuss how this project either initiates or fits into larger efforts in the watershed, or, if this is a stand-alone project, how it will succeed in and of itself in restoring, protecting, or enhancing the species population(s).
  • Methodology:  Describe how each activity will be implemented and the anticipated timeline.
  • Evaluation/Monitoring:  Describe the strategy for monitoring and evaluating project results, including specifics on how success will be defined and measured.  Please note any challenges or limitations you anticipate in interpreting anticipated results.  Describe the monitoring plan, including those activities that will take place after completion of this grant.  If possible, identify how post-grant monitoring will be funded.  If this project is a continuation or expansion of an existing project, describe the status and results/outcomes achieved to date.
  • Proposed Partnerships:  Identify any proposed partners, the roles that they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships.  If the project has any nexus with BLM, USFS, and/or USFWS lands, priority or other trust resources, discuss the agency’s involvement in the project.

FUNDING AVAILABLE

Approximately $1,000,000 in grant funds are available. Grant awards generally range in size from $50,000 to $100,000, although grants greater than $100,000 can be considered on a case by case basis.

FUNDING POLICIES

Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities.

A minimum 1:1 match of non-federal funds or in-kind/contributed goods and services is encouraged for all proposals.  All potential sources, including federal sources, and amounts of match should be listed in the application for consideration during the review process. 

No part the grant funds or the non-federal match may be used to:

  • Support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, or litigation activities
  • Support projects resulting from legally-mandated mitigation projects
  • Cover permanent federal employee salary expenses
  • Supplement shortfalls in government agency budgets

Additional information on funding policies, including financial documents required from applicants, types of eligible matching contributions, and NFWF’s policy on indirect costs, can be found on NFWF’s website at: www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants  

DEADLINES AND APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  • Pre-proposals are due on June 19, 2014

  • Full proposals are due on August 4, 2014

  • Awards will be announced by December 20, 2014

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.  Hard-copy applications will not be considered for funding.  To submit a proposal, please follow the following steps:

  1. Go to http://nfwf.org/easygrants to register in our Easygrants online system. Enter your applicant information.  (If you already are a registered user, use your existing login.) 
  2. On your Easygrants homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund 2014 funding opportunity.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your proposal.  Applications may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission, up until the application deadline.  It is imperative for Easygrants users to disable their browser’s pop-up blocker prior to beginning the application process.  The following link contains access to other useful information for applicants:  www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants.

For more information or questions on program priorities, please contact:

Carly Vynne, PhD

Director, Wildlife & Habitat Conservation

(202) 595-2464

Carly.Vynne@nfwf.org

or

Krystyna Wolniakowski

(503) 417-8700 x 6005

wolniakowski@nfwf.org

For technical assistance with your application, please send an e-mail message to: easygrants@nfwf.org.