Oregon Governor's Fund for the Environment Request for Proposals

This Request for Proposals is closed and should be used for reference only, please check back for the 2014 Request for Proposals

Pre-proposal Due Date: November 28, 2012 5:00PM Pacific time
Full Proposal Due Date: January 31, 2013
5:00PM Pacific time

PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE

In spring 2005, the United States charged an international shipping company with violating numerous federal pollution laws. As part of the settlement, the courts ordered $2,000,000 in community service payments to be made to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Foundation) to maintain a sustained granting program to benefit the rivers and streams passing through Oregon and near coastal waters. The Foundation used the funds to establish the Oregon Governor’s Fund for the Environment (the Fund) to receive and administer court-ordered community service payments, as well as donations and contributions from other sources, in order to maintain a sustained granting program to benefit Oregon’s rivers and streams.

Projects must meet the following purposes established in the settlement agreement to be eligible for funding through this program:

a) develop and implement strategies to eliminate and/or reduce pollution and otherwise restore the quality of Oregon rivers, streams and coastal areas;

b) restore and conserve fish, wildlife and plant resources critical to Oregon rivers, streams and coastal areas;

c) identify continuing sources of pollution of Oregon rivers, streams and coastal areas; or

d) improve state and local criminal enforcement of environmental and wildlife protection laws intended to protect Oregon rivers, streams and coastal areas.

FUNDING PRIORITIES

Beginning in 2012, the Fund will be focused to align with Governor Kitzhaber’s priority to ensure long term conservation of the state’s wild salmon strongholds. The state of Oregon recognizes several of the state’s healthiest salmon bearing watersheds as “wild salmon strongholds.” Salmon strongholds represent some of Oregon’s most productive and intact aquatic ecosystems, and sustain the state’s largest and most diverse runs of salmon and other native aquatic species. The strong populations found in these systems anchor ongoing regional recovery efforts, and support a variety of recreational, commercial, and Tribal fisheries. The stronghold watersheds also produce critical ecosystem services including clean water, recreation, flood storage, carbon sequestration and others.

Projects located within Oregon’s wild salmon stronghold watersheds will be the priority for this round of funding. Oregon’s recognized strongholds include: the Tillamook/Nehalem, Illinois, North Umpqua, Sandy/Clackamas, Lower Deschutes, North Fork John Day, and Lower Grand Ronde (Joseph Creek, Minam River, and Wenaha River) watersheds, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Oregon’s wild salmon stronghold watersheds

REQUEST FOR PRE-PROPOSALS

NFWF is inviting pre-proposals requesting up to $75,000 in grant funds to support two types of projects in and across the state’s seven strongholds: 1) on-the-ground habitat improvements in strongholds; and 2) programmatic activities that seek to prevent the continued loss and degradation of habitats. All projects must address the key limiting factors or threats that have been identified in existing watershed plans or assessments as bottlenecks to salmonid abundance.

1) On the ground habitat improvements. Grants will support cooperative, large scale, high impact projects that protect, restore, or enhance ecosystem processes critical to maintaining wild salmon and other native aquatic species populations in strongholds. Eligible projects include but are not limited to those that maintain or improve floodplain function, in-stream habitat complexity and connectivity, riparian vegetation, and/or water quality and quantity. Funds can support project planning, design, engineering, permitting, monitoring, and other critical - yet difficult to fund - components of habitat protection and restoration projects. Preference will be given to the development or implementation of innovative habitat conservation approaches that are replicable in other strongholds.

2) Programmatic activities. While on the ground projects may enhance or even restore ecosystem function, they do not prevent ongoing habitat loss at the watershed scale, which is often driven by long term, systemic challenges, including fragmented land ownership, insufficient incentives for conservation, a lack of local economic diversification, and shifting approaches to public lands management. A goal of the Oregon Governor’s Fund is to develop new and replicable solutions to these systemic problems by building a shared understanding of them among local stakeholders. Oregon Governor’s Fund grants will support programmatic activities including staff time for landowner outreach, public education, and multi-stakeholder planning efforts necessary to develop locally-supported approaches to resolving the drivers of ongoing habitat loss. Preference will be given to projects or processes that are replicable in other strongholds.

CRITERIA FOR RANKING PROPOSALS

All proposals will be evaluated according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • Is the project consistent with the Fund purposes and priorities stated above?

  • Are long-term conservation outcomes and short-term project objectives clearly stated?

  • To what extent does the project include partners for implementation and/or cost-share?

  • Can the project be accomplished in two years?

  • To what extent does the project have local support?

  • Are administrative costs minimized?

Proposals for on the ground habitat improvements will be evaluated according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • Which limiting factor(s) as identified in a plan as a primary or secondary bottleneck to salmon populations are addressed?

  • What are the quantifiable/measurable long-term outcomes for wild salmon and/or aquatic habitat?

  • Does the project fund a key component of a habitat project that cannot be addressed through other sources?

Proposals for programmatic activities will be evaluated according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • To what extent does the project directly address the root cause(s) or driver(s) of ongoing threat(s) to stronghold habitats?

  • To what extent does the project prevent emerging threats to critical habitats?

  • To what extent does the project benefit multiple strongholds?

FUNDING POLICIES

Approximately $300,000 in grant funds is anticipated to be awarded through this grant round.

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply: 501(c)3 registered non-profit organizations; local, state or federal government agencies; tribes; educational institutions; and watershed councils, soil and water conservation districts, and other special districts.

Matching federal and/or non-federal funds and/or in-kind contributions are encouraged, but not required.

No grant funds or matching funds may be used for: litigation expenses or lobbying activities; equipment purchases not primarily related to the direct completion of the project; videos; improvement of natural resources for commercial or private profit; required mitigation; and required Habitat Conservation Plan activities.

Additional information on funding policies, including financial documents required from applicants and the Foundation’s policy on indirect costs, can be found on the Foundation’s website at: http://nfwf.org/Content/NavigationMenu/GrantPrograms/GranteeRegistration1/ApplicantInformation/default.htm

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Applicants should log onto the Foundation’s website: www.nfwf.org, go to "Grant Programs," click on "Funding Opportunities," select the Oregon Governor’s Fund for the Environment opportunity, and use the online process to submit a pre-proposal. The Oregon Governor’s Fund for the Environment program webpage can also be found at http://nfwf.org/orgovfund. Pre-proposals will be evaluated and ranked by the Program Committee according to the priorities and criteria outlined above, and the strongest pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal. The anticipated timeline for this program is as follows:

October 24, 2012 Request for Proposals issued

November 28, 2012 Pre-proposals due via Easygrants

December 21, 2012 Full proposals invited

January 31, 2013 Full proposals due via Easygrants

April 2013 Grant awards announced

For more information or questions about the application process, please contact:

Cara Rose
Assistant Director, Western Partnership Office
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 950
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 417-8700 x 6008
cara.rose@nfwf.org