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Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program (CPL) - Traditional Grant

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits and Agencies
for Habitat Protection and Enhancement

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Deadline Date:

09/24/18 4:00 PM CST


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Grants starting from $5,000 to Minnesota government agencies and nonprofits for projects to protect, enhance, or restore wildlife habitats in the State. Funding is intended for projects on public lands or waters, in wetlands, forests, and prairies. Partnerships between organizations are encouraged.

The CPL program is habitat-focused. Grant activities include the enhancement, restoration, or protection of forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, or wildlife in Minnesota. All applications should identify the direct habitat benefit of the project.

Restoration and enhancement projects will only be funded on lands that are:
- Permanently protected by a conservation easement;
- In public ownership; or
- In public waters.

Acquisition projects may include acquiring land through fee title or permanent conservation easement.

Lands acquired in fee title must be open to the public for hunting and fishing during all open seasons unless otherwise provided by law.

Eligible expenses are expenses (contracts, supplies and materials, salaries, etc.) directly incurred through project activities that are direct to and necessary for the project described in the application.

Expedited Conservation Projects Activity List:

Forest habitat:
1. Winter (thermal) cover
2. Tree planting
3. Promotion of natural regeneration
4. Bud capping
5. Rx burning within BMP prescription, including aerial support

Prairie habitat:
1. Establish new prairie/grassland
2. Seed purchase of native species
3. Rx burning within BMP prescription
4. Mowing/herbicide for invasives control in recently established grassland/prairie
5. Tree removal/woody encroachment management
6. Interseeding of monoculture/low biodiversity sites

Wetland/water habitat:
1. Water level control structures
2. Fish Barriers
3. Upland vegetation enhancement
4. Tile breaks/ditch blocks

Fish Game and Wildlife habitat:
1. Brushland shearing
2. Dam removal/modification
3. In-stream habitat modification
4. Trout stream restoration/habitat improvement
5. Site prep for habitat enhancement
6. All ECP activities from forest, prairie, wetland habitats

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174806

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants from $5,000 - $400,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period begins when the final signature on the grant contract is obtained and continues until all work is completed but no later than June 30, 2022 for FY19 funds.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants can include government agencies (cities, counties, conservation districts) that are a subdivision of the state of Minnesota, federal agencies, federally recognized tribal governments, and registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofits.

Partnerships are encouraged.

Private individuals and for-profit organizations may not apply.

Indirect costs (overhead costs for basic operational functions such as lights, office rent, water, phone) are not eligible grant or match expenditures. Below are some common requests for funding that the CPL program will not fund with grant dollars or allow as match (unless specified). These requests will be removed from any application prior to review and may result in the rejection of the entire application.
- Work on project sites not identified in the Work Plan or approved by CPL staff.
- Preliminary engineering and design costs*. Grant funds may not be used to pay for initial engineering and design costs as this work must be mostly complete before requesting grant funds for a project. *These costs may be used for match only.
- Research, education, interpretive signs, or planning activities
- Capital Equipment including but not limited to vehicles, trailers, chainsaws, sprayers, etc.
- Acquisition of land that is owned by the state or a political subdivision of the state.
- Activities on conservation easements that are the responsibilities of landowners under the terms of the easement.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications close at 4:00 PM CST on September 24, 2018.

Grants will be selected by December 21, 2018.

A simplified application is available for applicants requesting less than $25,000.

CPL staff can do a brief administrative review to ensure your application is complete and eligible for funding. Please request this at least one week before the application deadline or staff may not have time to complete your request.

A 10% match of non-state funds is required for all grants. The match may be cash or in-kind resources. The amount and source of match must be identified at the time of application. Total project costs may not exceed $575,000. CPL is a reimbursement-based grant program.

If more than $1 million remains after the first Traditional grant round, a second grant round will be offered, beginning December 21, 2018, and closing February 11, 2019. If less than $1 million remains, these funds will be available for the ECP grant cycle.

Applicants with acquisition projects are advised to contact CPL staff early in the application process to discuss potential additional requirements.

Public Land Manager Contacts:

Restoration and Enhancement Projects:

Land Acquisition Projects:

Requirements for Projects Involving Public Waters Work Permits:

How to apply:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Jessica Lee, CPL Grant Program Coordinator

Kathy Varble, CPL Grant Specialist

Division of Fish and Wildlife
MN Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box #20
Saint Paul, MN 55155-4020

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota