The focus of this grant program is on land conservation through fee title or easement acquisition projects to protect lands threatened by conversion or lands providing critical resilience to climate change.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy recognizes land conservation as an important tool for achieving holistic watershed health. The Strategic Lands Conserved goal in the SNC’s Strategic Plan focuses on protection of high-risk and/or high-priority lands. These lands provide a range of benefits including working landscapes; recreation opportunities; and protection of unique cultural and natural areas, as well as key wildlife habitat. Additionally, climate change is likely to have impacts yet unseen on the Region and strategically conserving land will become increasingly important as the Region adapts to further changes in the future.
This grant program conserves lands through the planning and implementation of fee title and conservation easement acquisitions.
Acquisitions should aim to protect, restore, or create one or more of the priorities provided in the following list:
Important natural lands and expand connectivity and potential for adaptation to climate change. Climate resilience by protecting and stewarding key landscapes that store carbon, improve water availability, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Protect and steward water resources, including watersheds, riparian areas, wetlands, and headwaters Unique cultural and/or natural areas. Land of special significance to a Native American tribe. Working landscapes including farms, ranches, and forests to help local economies Access to public lands and recreation opportunities.
The SNC may make grants to eligible partners to acquire an interest in real property, fee interest or less than fee interest, from willing sellers only. Although the SNC is prohibited by statute (PRC 33347) from purchasing real property outright, it can fund fee title acquisition by other eligible entities.
To be eligible to receive a grant award from the SNC under this program, projects must meet all the following criteria:
Be located within the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Region. Be consistent with the SNC mission and program areas as defined in the SNC Strategic Plan and the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP). Result in a clear, demonstrable, and enduring public benefit. Engage willing sellers only. Be consistent with applicable city or county General Plan.
This program supports planning projects and implementation projects. Each project proposal must identify whether it is a planning or implementation project; the project types may not be combined.
Application Process: Projects must be developed in collaboration with SNC. Contact your SNC Area Representative to discuss project ideas. Applicants will submit a Concept Project Proposal by May 6, 2022. After submission of a Concept Proposal, a mandatory site visit will be conducted for every eligible implementation project. Following the site visit, the applicant may be invited to develop a full project proposal, also in collaboration with SNC (the full project proposal will be due in July 2022). If a complete Concept Proposal is not received by the specified deadline, the applicant will not be eligible to submit a Full Project Proposal. The first expected grant award will be in December 2022. To apply, please review the grant program guidelines.
- Public Agency
- Tribal Government
Grant funds may be authorized for: Public agencies (any city, county, special district, joint powers authority, state agency, or federal agency – mutual water companies are not eligible); Qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and eligible tribal entities recognized by the United States and on the most current Federal Register, and listed on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission.
The Sierra Nevada region includes the mountains and foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, the Mono Basin, Owens Valley, the Modoc Plateau, and parts of the southern Cascade Range and Klamath Mountains. The region covers nearly 27 million acres and includes all or part of 24 counties in California.
Matching Funding Requirement:
While match funding is not required, it is considered in the project evaluation process.
How to Apply
State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.
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