2023 Strategic Land Conservation Directed Grant Program

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



This grant program supports planning and implementation of land conservation through fee title or conservation easement acquisition projects to provide access for public use or to public lands, and protect lands threatened by conversion, unique cultural or natural areas, 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. The regional goal of this grant program aims to permanently protect high-benefit lands that are threatened with conversion, represent unique natural characteristics, or are critical for resilience to climate change.

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.

The current grant cycle will be administered as an expedited cycle, modified from the process outlined in the current Grant Guidelines. These modifications are: Allowing the applicant to submit one proposal rather than a concept proposal and full proposal, site visits for implementation projects would not be required but still may take place if necessary to validate the project, and appraisals would not be required at time of application, though any grant awards would be made contingent upon recent appraisals approved by the Department of General Services.

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 Project Proposal by March 20, 2023. The first expected grant award will be in June 2023. To apply, please review the grant program guidelines.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • 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. 

Eligible Geographies:

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. 

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
June 2023
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
Spent by: 01.01.27

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Yes ( see Description for details )
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

This grant program is funded through state budget appropriations directed towards supporting nature-based investments that address the state's multi-faceted climate risks and related State Conservancy priorities. Grant awards are contingent upon funding availability.

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Grant funds are disbursed for eligible costs on a reimbursement basis or, in certain cases, through advances. Advances may be given in 30 percent increments of the grant award amount. There is a 10 percent retention of expenditure reimbursements. The total retention will be held until all project reports and deliverables have been submitted and approved.   

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
Shannon Ciotti, 1-530-906-7345, shannon.ciotti@sierranevada.ca.gov