Endangered Species Recovery Land Acquisition Grants (Non-Traditional Section 6)

Portal ID:
Closed (4 total applications submitted)
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



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. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Individual
  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Public agency includes state departments, colleges, and universities. 

Eligible Geographies:


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. 

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.
Late summer 2021
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
Maximum of 3 years

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.
$10,000 – $22,324,000
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
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.
  • Federal

Funding Source Notes:

Funds are provided to states and territories from the US Fish and Wildlife Service through its Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. The Department administers Recovery Land Acquisition funded projects in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service through a Section 6 Cooperative Agreement. The Department's authority to administer the program is granted through Section 1501.5 of the Fish and Game Code. 

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)

Funding Method Notes:

Funding for selected grants is awarded to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Department may then subgrant to eligible entities. 

How to Apply

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


For questions about this grant, contact:
Erin Chappell, 1-916-708-2038, wildlifemgt@wildlife.ca.gov