Desert Conservation Program

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Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



As a result of efforts undertaken by individuals and entities with a strong interest in protecting the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, Assembly Bill 1183, now known as the California Desert Conservation Act, was approved by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 28, 2021. Passage of the California Desert Conservation Act established the Desert Conservation Program under the administration of the Wildlife Conservation Board. 


The Desert Conservation Program includes the following actions:

Protect, preserve, and restore the natural, cultural, and physical resources of the portions of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts region in California through the acquisition, restoration, and management of lands.
Promote the protection and restoration of the biological diversity of the region.
Provide for resilience in the region to climate change.
Protect and improve air quality and water resources within the region.
Undertake efforts to enhance public use and enjoyment of lands owned by the public.

The Wildlife Conservation Board accepts pre-applications for acquisition, restoration, and management projects on a continuous basis. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

Acquisition of land, especially parcels that are part of a wildlife movement corridor, contain water sources, have sacred or culturally significant tribal sites, protect listed species, or provide public access
Restoration of riparian and upland vegetation
Invasive plant removal and control.
Seed collection, processing, and propagation
Scientific studies, especially those that help aid in the recovery of listed species.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Eligible entities include: federal and state agencies, local public agencies, tribal entities, and non-profits with 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status.

Eligible Geographies:

Desert Conservation Program Boundary Map

Matching Funding Requirement:

Cost share is not required but may be beneficial, in particular to complete a larger project. Applications with higher proportions of secured cost share contribution towards total project cost will score more points through the “Cost Share” application evaluation criterion.

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.
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
June 30, 2027

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
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).
  • Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

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


For questions about this grant, contact:
Amy Henderson, 1-916-926-9585,