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Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) Grant

Grants to Colorado Nonprofits, Agencies,
Utilities, and Groups to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS)

Deadline Date:

11/27/17 5:00 PM MST

Description:

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Grants to Colorado nonprofit organizations, government agencies, public and private utilities, and community groups for community-scale initiatives to reduce the risk of wildfire in the wildland-urban interface. Funding may also support projects related to forest health and restoration.

The two types of projects identified below will be considered through this grant program:

1. Fuels & Forest Health Projects

Fuels and forest health projects must: a) strategically reduce the potential risk for damage to property, infrastructure, water supplies and other high-valued assets as a result of wildfire and/or limit the probability of wildfires spreading into populated areas; and b) promote forest health through scientifically based forestry practices that restore ecosystem functions, structures and species composition.

2. Capacity Building

Projects that address unmet needs for project implementation capacity at the local level through the purchase of equipment, also will be considered. Capacity grant applications should clearly describe how the equipment will be used and maintained to implement fuels treatments beyond the life of the initial project. Implementation capacity grants will be limited to 25 percent of the total available grant funds.

Note: Separate application forms are available for fuels and forest health projects and capacity building projects.

Additional Program Information:

Requirement for Monitoring: While there is significant science supporting the value of fuels and forest health treatments for reducing wildfire risk and promoting forest resilience, forest ecosystems are dynamic and new fuels and forest health treatments continue to be developed. The effects of current and novel forestry activities need to be evaluated and the best method for achieving this is through monitoring on-the-ground efforts. Therefore monitoring is an important component of this grant program and will demonstrate the relative efficacy of various treatments and the utility of grant resources. The CSFS will work with successful project applicants to conduct project monitoring and certification site visits to assess effectiveness and completion of projects.

Strategic Proposals: Proposed projects must be strategic in nature in order to maximize the effectiveness of this grant program. Strategic proposals will be those that include such aspects as: implementation across land ownership boundaries; projects conducted within a priority area identified in the Colorado State Forest Action Plan (Colorado Statewide Forest Resource Assessment & Strategy) theme maps (Conserve Working Forest Landscapes, Protect Forests from Harm, and Enhance Public Benefits from Trees and Forests); a previously completed Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan for the project area; projects that are part of a larger landscape-scale treatment effort; and/or projects in geographic proximity to U.S. Forest Service lands that have been recently treated or are planned for treatment. The Colorado State Forest Action Plan is a companion set of documents required by the 2008 Farm Bill to help guide where the CSFS directs resources to best focus forest management efforts and achieve desired future conditions.

County Level Coordination: Applicants must coordinate proposed projects with relevant county officials to ensure consistency with county-level wildfire risk reduction planning. The application should identify which officials were consulted, and the outcome of those discussions. All grant applications also should include a letter signed by a county official indicating support for the project. For purposes of this grant, permissible county officials include county commissioners, representatives from the sheriff’s office and county wildfire coordinators.

Grant Program Criteria:

The purpose of this grant program is to assist with reducing wildfire risk to people and property in the WUI and to promote forest health and support long-term ecological restoration. Applications must meet the following criteria:

1) Reduce Hazardous Fuels

Successful project applicants shall facilitate and implement strategic fuels treatment in Colorado at a meaningful scale in WUI areas at risk to wildfire. The Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (CO-WRAP) should be consulted in determining a given area’s level of risk (using the default “fire intensity scale” layer). All projects should be designed to reduce the potential wildfire risk to property, infrastructure, water supplies and other high-value assets, and/or limit the probability of wildfires spreading into populated areas. Successful applicants will consider all the elements required to implement treatments on the ground, which includes acquiring necessary permits and consultations from forestry and/or wildfire experts.

Examples of qualifying project elements include:
-Creation of defensible space around homes and structures, based on the most current CSFS defensible space guidelines.
-Construction of fuelbreaks, based on the current CSFS guidelines.
-Fuels reduction beyond defensible space, designed to protect water supplies and/or reduce potential fire intensity.
-Removal of saleable woody materials with specific utilization plans; also the removal/disposal of slash including through chipping, mulching, grinding, pile burning, broadcast burning or mechanical removal.

2) Promote Forest Health

Projects should incorporate forest restoration and management techniques, based on current science and applicable to the forest type(s) being treated. Proposals should include existing ecological conditions and desired future conditions for project areas. Existing ecological conditions relevant to this grant program may include; highly erodible soils on slopes that can impact water quality, over-stocked forests that increase wildfire risk, stands of unhealthy trees, reduced water yields and low species and structural diversity. The desired future conditions are what will be achieved through the accomplishment of goals or management activities that promotes the healthy function, structure and composition of essential ecosystem components. Essential ecosystem components may include: tree age and size class diversity, tree species diversity, desired forest cover and tree density in relationship to water quality and quantity and wildfire risk, and water quality associated with soil erosion.

Examples of qualifying project elements include:
-Reducing fuel loads and excessive competition among trees.
-Restoring ecosystem function, structure and species composition, including through the reduction of non-native species populations.
-Preserving older and larger trees to restore ecosystem function or for ecological value, based on scientific research.
-Replanting trees in deforested areas that have been negatively impacted by wildfire, insects and disease or other large-scale disturbance.

3) Utilize Forest Products/Woody Materials

Project applicants must include in their proposal a defined plan for removing and utilizing forest products/woody materials generated by the project, including as traditional forest products and/or biomass energy products. For further information on wood utilization, visit the Colorado Wood Utilization and Marketing (CoWood) webpage listed in the Supplemental Information section at the end of this document. In addition to CoWood, CSFS district offices are available to offer technical expertise to applicants in the development of forest products/wood utilization plans.

4) Support Implementation Capacity Through the Purchase of Equipment (for capacity building grants only)

Items that support implementation capacity include:
-The purchase and use of equipment for implementation of hazardous fuels reduction treatments, including the removal and utilization of slash or other woody biomass (e.g., purchasing a wood chipper to be made available to the community).
-Equipment for the establishment and operation of neighborhood slash disposal sites.

Additional emphasis will be given to projects that contain the elements listed below:

Leveraged Resources and Collaboration:
Projects should substantially leverage additional financial resources when possible, and/or be identified through a community-based collaborative process such as a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), Critical Community Watershed Wildfire Protection Plan or similar.

Partnerships with Youth or Veterans’ Groups:
Applicants are encouraged, where feasible, to utilize the labor of an accredited Colorado Youth Corps organization, operated by the Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) or an accredited Colorado Corps program serving veterans. Consider contacting one of these groups directly to determine if your project is a good fit for their labor pool. If you have been in contact with a group and it is determined that your project is a good fit, please provide a letter of support from either the CYCA or other affiliated organization.

Protection of Water Supplies:
Projects that include forest treatments that result in the protection of water supplies also will be more likely to be accepted. This objective can be achieved by reducing the risk of wildfire to watersheds or to water treatment and/or storage facilities; and through forest management practices including, but not limited to: thinning, selective harvest, clearcutting, chipping, mastication and planting trees in deforested areas.

Proposals involving the purchase of capacity building equipment must provide a specific explanation for how the purchase will result in on-the-ground results and how these results and the equipment will be maintained beyond the life of the project. The expectation is that the equipment will be used and maintained by the awardee for a minimum of five years following the grant.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139346

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$1,000,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

An individual request may not exceed $250,000 of program grant funding.

Term of Contract:

The final award/project start date is June 1, 2018. The project completion deadline is April 20, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following individuals, organizations or entities may apply:
-Local community groups, including registered homeowner associations and formal neighborhood associations, that are within close proximity to the WUI;
-Local government entities including counties, municipalities, and special districts in or within close proximity to the WUI;
-Public or private utilities, including water providers, with infrastructure or land ownership in areas of high risk to catastrophic wildfires;
-State agencies, such as the State Land Board and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, that own land in areas of high risk to catastrophic wildfires; and
-Nonprofit groups that promote hazardous forest fuel reduction treatment projects in partnership with local, state or private entities.

In addition, all applicants must:
-Be able to function as the fiscal agent and have legal authority to administer and/or implement treatments on proposed project area(s).
-Confirm that participating landowner(s) agree to reporting and monitoring requirements.
-Comply with all applicable federal and state environmental laws. Applicable Colorado Forestry Best
Management Practices (BMPs) are required for project implementation, and can be found under Supporting Documents below. Use of other BMP standards or guidelines must be reviewed and approved by the local CSFS district.

Examples of projects that do not qualify for this grant program:
-Capacity building for fire preparedness and suppression (e.g., the purchase of fire department equipment)
-Creation of, or updates to, Community Wildfire Protection Plans or other planning efforts
-Construction of permanent infrastructure (e.g., of buildings or roads)
-Local, state or federal policy development or advocacy
-Projects undertaken by and benefiting only one individual homeowner/landowner
-Increased staffing or related capacity building for collaborative and/or community groups

(Note: Grant funds cannot be used for volunteer labor, homeowner labor, personnel coordination or grant administration; however, those activities are valuable and can be considered as match.)

Pre-Application Information:

All applications will be required to demonstrate an ability to match the requested amount on a dollar-for-dollar basis with either cash, in-kind contributions, or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions.

The match may be in the form of private, state or federal support for the project. State funds may be used as match; however, no more than 50 percent of the applicant’s matching funds can come from another state funding source. An exception is made if the applicant is a state agency, where more than 50 percent of matching funds can then come from a state source.

In-kind contributions must be clearly quantified and justified in the budget narrative section of the grant application. In-kind contributions may consist of donated supplies, equipment, or volunteer time/sweat equity (based on hourly value). Donated time should be accounted for using current volunteer labor rates ($25.96/hour per individual for 2017).

Submit applications to your local CSFS District office.

Key Dates:
-Request for applications (RFA) release: Monday, September 25, 2017
-Application deadline: Monday, November 27, 2017, by 5:00 PM MST
-Anticipated pre-award date: March 1, 2018
-Final award/project start date: June 1, 2018
-Project completion deadline: April 20, 2021

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications to your local CSFS District office.
http://csfs.colostate.edu/districts/

State Headquarters:
3843 Laporte Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80521

Mailing Address
Colorado State Forest Service
5060 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-5060

P: (970) 491-6303
F: (970) 491-7736

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado