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Natural Resources Matching Grants Program

Grants to Colorado Conservation Districts
for Conservation Education Activities

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Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) - Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA)

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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 Colorado conservation districts for effective natural resources management, planning, and development. Qualifying projects must impact private lands within the state. Grants will be offered on a cost-share basis for activities such as watershed planning, conservation workshops, and riparian protection projects.

Mission Statement and Funding Intention:

The Conservation Matching Grants Program, administered solely by the Colorado State Conservation Board, assists Colorado Conservation Districts in implementing and encouraging sound natural resource planning, management and development particularly in minerals, energy, geology, and water resources. Targeted conservation efforts are vital to this program.

The funds are intended primarily to implement enduring on-the-ground conservation practices and educational activities for sustaining and protecting Colorado’s natural resources through public/private partnership.

Funds Source and Distribution:

All of the authorized funds will be distributed to Conservation Districts in the form of grants. The Colorado Legislature has authorized funds for projects addressing the conservation of Colorado’s natural resources. The Colorado Department of Agriculture has traditionally made additional funds available through the Severance Tax Revenue Fund and/or the State General Fund. Although these Matching Grant program funds have been offered in the past, there is no guarantee of these funds’ continued availability in the future.

Project Eligibility:

Projects must impact/benefit private lands within the State of Colorado. In general, natural resource conservation educational activities eligible for grant awards should provide a cost-share; add to the knowledge of existing practices or management procedures, or support/address innovation and technology. All applications will be assessed on their own merit. Equipment may be purchased with the grant funds; along with leasing or hiring equipment, however, it must be professionally contracted. Applications for grants to hire general administrative staff will not be considered. Projects should address natural resource concerns identified by the Locally Led Conservation Group hosted by the local conservation district; by the Watershed Association, or be identified in the district’s Annual or Long Range Plan.

Examples of Eligible Projects:

-Cost sharing of stock water developments on CRP lands.
-Implementation of s small watershed plan or river basin conservation plan.
-Employing technical assistance pertaining to an on-the-ground conservation project (cannot be used to cost-share NRCS District Conservation Technician [DCT] Program).
-Project to address resource issues that the USDA programs do not address, such as delivering conservation assistance to small acreage landowners.
-Planting grasses, trees or shrubs for conservation practices or to develop/enhance wildlife habitat.
-Installing riparian protection or forest health conservation practices.
-Small Acreage Workshops.
-Soil Health Workshops.
-Implementing water quality or quantity projects such as pipelines.
-Workshops on controlling invasive pests.
-Workshops on weed control practices for List A and/or List B species (may include List C).
-Hiring a watershed association coordinator for overseeing educational activities.
-Implementing energy conservation or energy efficiency projects.
-Maintaining a flood prevention dam on private land (as authorized by the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172737

Estimated Size of Grant:

For the 2019 matching grants, the potential award amount will be $1,000 to $15,000, depending on funding availability.

Term of Contract:

Fund and match expenditure for any award made from this application must take place between January 1st, 2019 (or upon the contract effective date) and November 20th, 2019 (project completion date).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

These grant funds are available only to a conservation district or a group of conservation districts who may apply for grant awards.

Districts that are in “Good Standing” with the State [meeting all statutory requirements according to Colorado Revised Statute Title 35, Article 70 (Conservation Districts) and Title 32, Article 1 (Special Districts)] have equal access for all grant funds via a competitive process. If a district submits more than one application and has a preference for which project they would like funded, this should be stated on the cover of their application so that the Review Committee is steered towards funding district priority projects. The CSCB may approve funding of good quality but lower ranked projects to ensure a balance of project type and/or geographically distributed conservation benefits.

When two or more Districts wish to combine their applications in consideration of a large, multi-district project, note which District is primary record keeper and which District(s) has released a portion or all of their Matching Grant eligibility for that grant cycle.

Ineligible uses of Matching Grant award funds:
-Weed control for List C species only or general weed control
-Landowner labor (although this can be used as a “hard-cash” match)
-Administrative costs only
-Distributing more than 10% of the award to any one District Board Member or Board member family
-DCT staff time - to verify projects, present workshop, etc. (already a cost-share program), nor can DCT staff time be claimed as match

Pre-Application Information:

The grant application must provide for and identify matching funds to satisfy a 100%, dollar-for-dollar match of the CSCB funds requested with a fifty-percent (50%) minimum hard cash match. For example, if a District grant application requests $7,000 from the CSCB, the District must document a match of $7,000 with at least $3,500 of that being hard cash. The funds requested and match is documented on the Matching Grant Application Budget template (on the website). The match must be raised and expended within the contract timeline and according to the expected completion date. Match dollars will ordinarily be expended in tandem with award expenditure where practicable and must be at a level equal with expenditures no later than September 30th of the grant year. The match can be a combination of district, private, local government, or federal dollars, but no other state funds (the only exception is the CSCB Direct Assistance).

The 50% minimum required hard cash match may include landowner labor time (based on verifiable rates for local professional service-providers) for conservation practice implementation. The value of landowner labor must be based on a verifiable source. Published regional custom labor rates from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Labor Market Analysis web page at: CLICK HERE, then click on the Home button. An average of three local commercial service provider rates or NRCS landowner labor rates may also be used when data is not available. Other published occupational rates or volunteer rates may be used if no other published data is available but these should be adjusted accordingly if local labor markets suggest the rates are high or low. Use of landowner equipment is not considered a cash or in-kind match. Please see the Matching Grant Application Budget template (on the website) which includes term definitions for a more detailed explanation of match categories.

The application deadline is June 15, 2018.

Important Dates:
-Reimbursement Requests Due: Anytime, no later than December 20th
-Quarterly Reports Due: April 20th, July 20th, October 20th
-Projects to be completed by: November 20th
-Final Reimbursement Due: December 20th
-Final Report Due: December 20th

Contact Information:

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

Colorado State Conservation Board
305 Interlocken Parkway
Broomfield, Colorado 80021

(303) 869-9040

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado