Desert Terminal Lakes Restoration Fund 2014 Request for Proposals

Pre-proposal Due Date: January 13, 2014 11:59PM Eastern time

Full proposal Due Date: March 31, 2014 11:59PM Eastern time

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to restore, protect, and enhance riparian and watershed resources in the greater Desert Terminal Lakes (DTL) geography in Nevada and California.  This geography includes Pyramid and Summit Lakes as well as associated resources in the Truckee River Basin, Carson River Basin, and Summit Lake Basin.  Walker Lake and the Walker River Basin are also within the DTL geography, but projects in the Walker Basin have been funded through the Walker Basin Restoration Program and are not being considered under this request.

PROGRAM FUNDING PRIORITIES

NFWF will provide funding to projects that provide water to at-risk natural desert terminal lakes and/or protect and conserve associated riparian and watershed resources.  All proposed projects must meet the current DTL authority (PL 101-171 Section 2507, as amended) and comply with the NFWF funding policies as set forth below.  The governing legislation (Attachment 1) states in relevant part as follows:

For the benefit of at-risk natural desert terminal lakes and associated riparian and watershed resources, in any case in which there are willing sellers or willing participants, [DTL funds] may be used –

  1. to lease water;
  2. to purchase land, water appurtenant to the land, and related interests; and
  3. for efforts consistent with researching, supporting, and conserving fish, wildlife, plant, and habitat resources.

In addition to meeting the guiding legislation additional priority may be given to (in no particular order):

  • Projects with completed NEPA compliance (if not NEPA exempt).
  • Projects that provide water to at-risk natural  DTL’s (per original program authorization).
  • Projects with separate federal and/or non-federal matching funds/in-kind commitments.
  • Projects that have benefits to the wider DTL geography and/or that partner with another organization that already has ongoing efforts in the geography.
  • Projects that have previously been funded with DTL funds.
  • Projects that align with other NFWF conservation priorities such as: Lahontan cutthroat trout, sage grouse, and Sierra Meadows (for more information on NFWF conservation initiatives please visit www.nfwf.org).

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 Type, Location, and NEPA Status: Describe the type of project you are proposing: lease water, purchase land, water appurtenant to the land and related interests, or efforts consistent with researching, supporting, and conserving wildlife, plant and habitat resources.  Describe the geographic area of the project with details about which DTL basin it will benefit.  Also include the NEPA status of your project (exempt, in process, pending, etc.).
  • Long-Term Conservation Outcome(s): Discuss the quantifiable/measurable long-term outcome(s) for the project that will be achieved, including what the project hopes to achieve within the DTL geography.
  • Threats and/or Opportunities: Elaborate on the relationship of short- and long-term threats and/or opportunities to the long-term conservation outcome(s) and describe which of these threats and/or opportunities will be addressed in the project.  Discuss impacts if no action is taken over the short- and long-term.
  • Activities: Elaborate on the primary activities that will be conducted through the proposed grant. Explain how these activities address the threats, opportunities and conservation outcome(s) described above. Describe how these activities relate to established plans (management, conservation, recovery, etc.) and conservation needs. Discuss how this project either initiates or fits into larger efforts in the DTL basin, or, if this is a stand-alone project, how it will succeed in and of itself in restoring, protecting, or enhancing the proposed location.
  • 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.
  • Dissemination: Describe the outreach strategy and educational values of the project. Specifically state how you will disseminate information on the project before, during, and after the proposed activities.
  • Potential Partners: Describe any potential partner organizations (if applicable), especially those entities that already have ongoing efforts in the DTL geography.
  • Maps:  Include two maps - one that shows the overall location of the project within the DTL geography and a second project specific map.

FUNDING AVAILABLE

Up to $10 million in grant funds are available.  NFWF encourages requests for up to $250,000 per project although larger requests will be considered depending on the total number of proposals received, the total amount requested, and the quality of all requests.

NFWF FUNDING POLICIES

Matching funds are not required; however, priority may be given to those proposals that have matching funds.  These fund sources can include cash, in-kind donations, and/or volunteer labor.

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

  • Support litigation expenses or lobbying activities.
  • Cover permanent federal employee salary expenses.
  • Supplement shortfalls in government agency budgets.
  • Support basic planning, outreach, or education projects without an "on-the-ground" component.

The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) manages the Desert Terminal Lakes Program and associated grant, interagency, and Native American PL 93-638 agreements.  Reclamation is the lead federal agency responsible for any federal environmental compliance (e.g., NEPA, NHPA, ESA) associated with DTL funding.  Proposals selected by NFWF for funding under this RFP that require environmental compliance will likely have a portion of the funding withheld from their grant award to allow NFWF to reimburse Reclamation for environmental compliance costs unless all necessary environmental compliance is provided through another federal agency.

All proposals involving funding requests for the acquisition of interests in real property must comply with NFWF’s guidance on real property acquisitions.  Please refer to the following link: www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants/Pages/acquisitions-easements.aspx

Grant funds may not be used to cover indirect costs unless they meet all of the following conditions:

  • The organization has a federally-approved indirect rate;
  • The organization submits documentation* of their federally-approved rate with their application;
  • The indirect costs line item in the project budget does not exceed 15% of the total direct costs requested from the Foundation (even when the federally-approved rate is greater); and,
  • The project was approved no earlier than January 1, 2010.

*Documentation includes the Negotiated Indirect Cost Agreement (NICRA) or the notification from a Cognizant Agency to an organization formalizing the approval of a final or provisional indirect cost rate. See the full indirect cost policy on the Foundation’s website here: http://nfwf.org/Pages/grants/Applicant-Indirect-Costs-Policy.aspx.

Projects with a budget primarily consisting of indirect costs and salaries and projects with matching funds primarily consisting of foregone indirect costs will not be as competitive.

Organizations or project sites that previously have received funding under this program are eligible to reapply; however, preference may be given to those that previously have not received support.

Additional information on funding policies, including financial documents required from applicants can be found on the Foundation’s website at: http://nfwf.org/Pages/grants/applicants.aspx

DEADLINES AND APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  • Pre-Proposals are due on Monday, January 13, 2014.
  • Those selected to submit a Full Proposal will be notified by Friday, February 28, 2014.
  • Full Proposals are due on Monday, March 31, 2014.
  • Awards will be announced by Friday, June 6, 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. (If you already are a registered user, use your existing login.)  Enter your applicant information.  (For assistance with Easygrants, contact us using the information below.)
  2. On your Easygrants homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select the Desert Terminal Lakes Restoration Fund funding opportunity. Then click “Continue”.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your proposal. Applications may be saved and completed at a later time, 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: http://nfwf.org/Pages/grants/applicants.aspx
  4. Refer to the Desert Terminal Lakes Pre-Proposal Cheat Sheet and Desert Terminal Lakes Full Proposal Cheat Sheet for a step-by-step guide on information required for the Pre- and Full Proposal. These documents can be downloaded from the Desert Terminal Lakes Restoration Fund webpage at http://nfwf.org/dtl

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information or questions about this RFP please contact:

Ashley Downing
Coordinator, Walker Basin Restoration Program
(775) 673-7933
ashley.downing@nfwf.org

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system*, please contact:

Ms. Mehvish Khan
Coordinator, Southwest and Interior Water Programs
(202) 595-2436
Mehvish.Khan@nfwf.org

*Easygrants assistance is available from 8:00am to 4:00pm EST

DESERT TERMINAL LAKES AUTHROIZING LEGISLATION

Public Law 107-171, Section 2507 as amended by Public Law 110-246, Section 2807; Public Law 111-85, Section 207; and Public Law 112-74, Title II, Division B, Section 208(a)

Sec. 2507 DESERT TERMINAL LAKES.

(a) TRANSFER.  Subject to subsection (b) and paragraph (1) of section 207(a) of Public Law 108-7 (117 Stat. 146), notwithstanding paragraph (3) of that section, on the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, the Secretary of Agriculture shall transfer $175,000,000 of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to the Bureau of Reclamation Water and Related Resources Account, which funds shall –

  1. be used by the Secretary of Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, to provide water to at-risk natural desert terminal lakes; and
  2. remain available until expended.

(b) PERMITTED USES.  For the benefit of at-risk natural desert terminal lakes and associated riparian and watershed resources, in any case in which there are willing sellers or willing participants, the fund described in subsection (a) may be used –

  1. to lease water;
  2. to purchase land, water appurtenant to the land, and related interests; and
  3. for efforts consistent with researching, supporting, and conserving fish, wildlife, plant, and habitat resources.