NFWF Accepting Proposals for Northern California Forests and Watersheds Restoration Projects

The has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to restore and enhance national forests and watersheds affected by the wildfires in Northern California. The Northern California Forests and Watersheds program will administer an initial $6 million in grants to projects that increase wildfire resiliency for Northern California national forests and associated watersheds. In addition, NFWF will administer Sierra Nevada Meadows Program funding through the Northern California Forests and Watersheds Program and intends to integrate additional USFS funding throughout the region.   

In California, eleven of the state’s largest twenty wildfires have occurred over the last ten years. The threat of unnatural wildfire has increased due to decades of fire-suppression activities, recent droughts, insect infestations, and challenges from increased human activity on forests. Although the ecosystems of Northern California have evolved to be well adapted to fire, the stressors associated with recent increases in frequency and intensity of fires have resulted in long-term losses of habitat, ecosystem transitions, opportunities for invasive species to take hold and spread, and changes in hydrology and associated effects to sediment, nutrient fate, and transport.

To address these problems, NFWF is accepting applications for projects that support the restoration of watersheds, landscapes, meadows, riparian, and other habitats; enhance aquatic organism and fish passage; restore native species and help control non-native species; help manage and reduce the fuels for wildfires; and/or improve the management of trails, roads, and campsites that may have a deleterious impact on natural resources.

Overall, $3.34 million is available for the initiative in 2018. Approximately $2.8 million will be available to implement restoration actions within the watersheds affected by the Power and Storrie Fires; $215,000 will be available for design and restoration implementation activities in Eldorado National Forest’s CFLR Cosumnes and Power Fire watersheds; and $115,000 will be available for meadow design, implementation, and other projects that benefit meadows across the Sierra Nevada. 

Grants will range between $25,000 and $250,000 per project.  Project costs must be approved and expended within the project’s start and end date. Projects are expected to be completed by the summer of 2020. Matching funds are required and will be a factor in the proposal evaluation. Projects are expected to provide a 50 percent non-federal match to be competitive, and the strongest projects will meet or exceed a 100 percent non-federal match.

See the NFWF website for complete program guidelines and proposal submission instructions.