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Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant

Grants to Utah Government Agencies for
the Development of Public Recreational Sites

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Utah State Parks and Recreation

Deadline Date:

05/01/18 Postmarked or Delivered in Person


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Grants to Utah state and local government agencies, special districts, and tribes for the establishment and development of outdoor recreation areas and facilities for public use. Funding may be requested for site acquisitions, site developments, or a combination. Projects must serve the needs of the general public rather than special interest groups.

Scope of Grants:

Assistance may be provided for acquisition (Acquisition Grant) of real property for public outdoor recreation use and/or development (Development Grant) of outdoor recreation facilities on property owned by the applicant. Projects that include acquisition and development (Combined Grant) are also within the scope of the LWCF grant program.

Eligible Projects:

Acquisition Projects: Projects solely devoted to the acquisition of land for the development of public outdoor recreation.

1. All projects involving land acquisitions are subject to the provisions of the “Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970,” as amended (P.L. 91-646). Failure to comply with P.L. 91- 646 may result in project ineligibility for LWCF assistance. This Act deals with two major areas of concern:

The establishment of uniform policies and procedures that must be followed when acquiring real property so that all persons receive fair and equitable treatment and be offered the fair market value for their property as determined by a competent appraiser.

The establishment of a uniform policy for fair and equitable treatment of persons who must relocate their homes, farms or businesses as a result of a federal or federally assisted action.

2. In order to comply with P.L. 91-646, the following steps should be taken:

a. Initial contact is made with the property owner. No price is negotiated at this time.
b. An appraisal is completed by a qualified appraiser using standards that are in accordance with the current “Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions”.
c. The owner must be given the opportunity to accompany the appraiser during inspection of the property. This should be documented by the appraiser in his report or by the acquiring agency.
d. The State may approve the preparation of a waiver valuation per 49 CFR 24.102(2)(ii) for acquisitions which are uncomplicated and the estimation of value of the real property is less than $10,000. Forms for these can be obtained from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation upon request. The waiver valuation cap can be raise to $25,000 if the acquiring agency offers the owner the option to have an appraisal and the owner elects to have the agency prepare a waiver valuation instead. Appraisals for more than $25,000 must be an analytical narrative report involving the application of standard techniques, such as comparative or market value, cost less depreciation, and income approaches to value.
e. The owner must be advised in writing of the fair market value of his property and of his rights concerning relocation and replacement housing assistance if applicable. A written offer to purchase should then be made at the approved appraisal value. Forms for the offer to purchase and statement of just compensation are available upon request.
f. A minimum one-year option should be secured based on the appraised value, prior to making application for LWCF assistance. An option agreement may constitute an acceptable written offer to purchase if it is made at the appraised value.
g. Only in unusual circumstances may acquisitions at less than fair market value be eligible. If an owner has been offered the fair market value for his property but desires to sell for less, the seller must provide a written waiver of his right to just compensation, indicating the reasons for accepting less. Waiver forms are available upon request.
h. No retroactive acquisition costs are eligible for grant assistance, with the exception of option payments that may be used against the purchase price upon acquisition.
i. The owner must be reimbursed for certain costs of acquisition, such as title insurance and transfer fees.
j. If displacement of any person will result from this action, P.L. 91-646 requires that written notification be given to the occupants, at the time negotiations begin, that advises them of their rights and entitlements. Owner-occupants and renters are entitled to certain financial aid as a result of their forced relocation.

3. The project sponsor must acquire fee title to the land. Reservations and rights held by others are permissible only if it is determined that public outdoor recreation purposes would not be affected. If the project sponsor cannot show adequate control and tenure of the divided estate, then the acquisition is not eligible. The project sponsor shall provide a description of all outstand rights held by others and identify them on the Section 6(f)(3) boundary map (this include easements and rights of ways).

Development Projects: Projects involving the development of outdoor recreation and related facilities that directly support the public recreation use of the area.

1. Participants must own title to the land on which development will occur. If evidence of title is in the form of an easement or lease then the terms/duration of the lease must be in perpetuity (forever).

2. Development plans should be based on the needs of the public. Facilities should be attractive and consistent with the setting. Depending on the nature and location of the project, improvements and structures should be designed as much as possible to be in harmony with the natural environment.

3. Compliance with P.L. 91-646, “Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970”, is required for development of project sites acquired after January 2, 1971. A statement of compliance with this Act is required as part of the application for grant assistance.

4. The “Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973”, P.L. 93-234, requires the purchase of flood insurance as a condition of receiving any Federal assistance in a flood plain area, identified as such by the Federal government as an area that has special flood hazards, and located within a community currently participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Insurable improvements are restrooms, bathhouses, interpretive buildings and maintenance buildings.

5. LWCF projects must be designed and constructed to comply with the “Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards”. Compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151-4157, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (amended in 2010), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 792, is mandatory.

6. All new utility lines within the project site must be placed underground. Existing lines under 15 KV may be placed underground with grant assistance as part of the application proposal.

7. Any easements or rights of ways located on or across the property to be encumbered may not curtail or restrict public outdoor recreation. Copies of all easements and rights of ways that impact the project area must be supplied with the application.

Combined Projects: Projects that involve not only an acquisition of land, but also the recreational development of that land.

As the name suggests, the eligibility requirements for combined projects include all the criteria from Acquisition and Development Projects in order to be considered for funding.

Operation and Maintenance of Project Sites:

Property acquired or developed with assistance from the LWCF shall be permanently dedicated for public outdoor recreation use. Any change from public outdoor use (installation of cell towers or construction of a fire house - as examples) will constitute a conversion of use as outlined in Section 6(f) of the LWCF Act, and will require replacement of the facility in accordance with Department of Interior guidelines – the sponsor cannot pay the grant back.

Property acquired or developed with assistance from the LWCF shall be operated and maintained as follows:
1. The property shall be maintained so as to appear attractive and inviting to the public.
2. Sanitation and sanitary facilities shall be maintained in accordance with applicable state and local public health standards.
3. Properties shall be kept reasonably safe for public use. Fire prevention, safeguard, and similar activities shall be maintained to prevent loss of lives to users.
4. Buildings, roads, and other structures and improvements shall be kept in reasonable repair throughout their estimated life so as to prevent undue deterioration and not to discourage public use.
5. Facilities shall be open to the public during reasonable times and seasons.
6. Properties acquired or developed with grant assistance shall remain free from overhead utility lines. All electrical lines shall be placed underground.
7. Property shall not be converted to non-conforming uses such as cell towers, community centers, libraries, community art centers, fire stations, police stations, senior homes or centers, commercial development, etc. If a sponsor is considering converting the 6F property, they should contact the LWCF Coordinator to insure proper conversion procedures are followed.

Eligible projects must be in accordance with the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The applicant must agree to permanently dedicate approved projects sites for public outdoor recreation use and accept responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the facilities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180004

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Participants:
1. State agencies
2. Counties
3. Incorporated cities and towns
4. Special improvement or service districts
5. Federally recognized American Indian Tribes

Acquisitions that are not eligible for assistance include the following:
a. Acquisition of an historical structure where the principal interest is in the structure itself and the structure does not otherwise contribute to outdoor recreation. Acquisition of property for primarily historic/cultural purposes wherein outdoor public recreation would be constrained or curtailed by the properties historic values/resources.
b. Acquisition of property as part of a larger project where public outdoor recreation use cannot be identified within the particular tract itself.
c. Property with a primary use other than public outdoor recreation.

Assistance may be available for development of a broad range of public outdoor recreation facilities; however, projects that are not eligible for grant assistance include the following:
a. Restoration or preservation of historic structures; however, outdoor recreation facilities and their support facilities in conjunction with historical structures or sites may be eligible for assistance.
b. Development of areas and facilities to be used primarily for semi-professional or professional arts and athletics, such as professional type outdoor theatres and rodeo arenas. Grandstands or large bleachers.
c. Development of amusement facilities (such as merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, children’s railroads, pioneer towns, livestock and produce exhibit facilities and allied exhibit type developments), convention facilities, commemorative exhibits, or the construction of facilities, including their furnishings, that are only marginally related to outdoor recreation.
d. Construction of and furnishings for employee residences.
e. Construction or renovation of lodges, motels, luxury cabins, or non-austere cabins. However, cabins and group camp dormitories of a simple, austere design may qualify. If the group camp facilities are to be designated for specific groups or if specific groups will be given priority use, the development does not qualify for assistance. An example would be an area designed specifically for Boy Scout use.
f. Development projects in new or previously undeveloped recreation areas that consist solely of support facilities, unless it is clearly indicated in the project proposal that they are required for proper and safe use of an area that does not require additional outdoor recreation facilities to be functional (such as construction of restrooms at a public nature study area), or that necessary outdoor recreation facilities are being developed concurrently without grant assistance.
g. Support facilities, such as roads and sewer systems, exclusively to serve ineligible facilities. However, if the support facilities will serve both eligible and ineligible facilities, the cost may be prorated between the two uses.
h. Development of nature and geological interpretive facilities that go beyond interpreting the project site and its immediate surrounding area.
i. Development of outdoor recreation and outdoor recreation support facilities for which an Exhibit “R” of a utility company’s license application, filed with the Federal Power Commission, indicates are to be developed without Federal financial assistance.
j. Development of school athletic facilities, such as stadiums, running tracks for interscholastic athletics, and athletic fields with grandstands or more bleacher capacity than would normally be required for non-interscholastic athletic use.
k. Enclosed recreation facilities, with the exception of support facilities, swimming pools and ice rinks.
l. Construction of community centers, fire/police stations, cell towers, water tanks and other governmental buildings/facilities.

Pre-Application Information:

Grants require at least a 50% state or local match. Approved projects are funded on a cost reimbursement basis.

The LWCF Preliminary application must be postmarked or delivered in person no later than May 1, 2018.

LWCF applications are the first stage of a competitive process. All applications are reviewed and the projects are ranked through an evaluation process that has been cooperatively developed by the state and the National Park Service.

The highest scoring projects are invited to begin the second phase of the selection process, which includes the final environmental screening process and nomination for approval to the Board of Utah State Parks and Recreation. If the applicant successfully completes the second phase, their project may become a potential selection for recommendation to the National Park Service for their approval.

Contact Information:

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

Susan Zarekarizi, Program Coordinator

Utah State Parks and Recreation
Land and Water Grant Program
1594 W. North Temple, Suite 116
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Utah