The Endangered Species Recovery Land Acquisition Grant Program provides funding from US Fish and Wildlife Service to the States and Territories to acquire habitat for threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act in support of approved and draft federal species recovery plans. This grant program supports acquisition of habitat to promote listed species recovery in California.
The Endangered Species Recovery Land Acquisition (RLA) grant program promotes State and federal cooperation in listed species conservation by leveraging funds to acquire specific parcels of land, through fee simple or conservation easement, in support of US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service)-approved recovery plans and outlines. Only a species' most recently approved draft or final recovery plan document will be considered if the species has been listed for at least 2.5 years. A recovery outline may be referenced for species listed less than 2.5 years. To be considered for funding, the proposed land must benefit at least one listed species for which: (1) habitat loss is identified as a threat; and (2) habitat protection is identified as a priority recovery action in the species' most recently approved recovery planning document. All applicants must state a commitment to funding, implementing, and managing the land in perpetuity, consistent with the species' conservation needs.
For this cycle, the Service may award up to $22.3 million. There is no minimum or maximum award amount and applications will compete at the national level. In fiscal year 2019, the Service awarded about $23.2 million through 14 grants ranging from $201,000 to $4.9 million.
Applications may address new or ongoing work. Federal land acquisition grant programs fund the purchase of land at market value, from willing sellers. Appraisals to federal standards are required prior to expenditure of the funds, if the project is selected. Applicants must provide written acknowledgement by the landowner or their legal representative stating a willingness to enter into negotiations should grant funds be awarded as part of the application package. Applicants must provide a minimum of 25% of the total project cost in non-federal matching funds.
A California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) grant lead is required for all RLA grant projects. The grant lead is responsible for coordinating and managing the RLA grant and to get approval through the Department Region Office (of the Region where the project is located). Therefore, applications need to be developed in close coordination with Department Region Office staff. Project coordination with the appropriate Service Field Office staff prior to submission is also highly recommended. Proposals for this grant cycle are due to the appropriate Department Region Office prior to February 17, 2021. Check with the Regional Office where your project is located for its submission deadline.
Applicants should review the 2021 federal Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for this grant program (select "see related documents" near bottom of the linked page). Applicants are encouraged to consider and address the review criteria in Section E of the NOFO when preparing their proposal.
- Public Agency
- Tribal Government
Public agency includes state departments, colleges, and universities.
Matching Funding Requirement:
A minimum of non-federal match of 25% of the total project cost (25% of the sum of the federal amount requested plus the non-federal match) is required. It must be spent during the grant term.
How to Apply
State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.
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