Request for Proposals
Capacity Building Positions to Facilitate USDA Farm Bill Projects
Due Date: Proposals due January 6th, 2023
Timeline: Funds awarded in February 2023 with support over 2 years (2023 and 2024)
Anticipated Award Amounts: $100,000-$300,000
Anticipated Positions Funded: 3-5
The WYldlife Fund (The Fund) unites people to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research, and education. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Department) conserves wildlife and serves people. As a nonprofit partner of the Department, The Fund builds strategic partnerships to drive resources to the ground throughout Wyoming in order to advance Wyoming’s wildlife in alignment with the strategic vision of the Department.
The State of Wyoming has demonstrated itself as a leader in both the science and conservation actions related to big game migration for many years. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has directed the Department to prioritize conservation actions in big game migratory habitat for many years. Partnerships are critical to achieving these goals because they expand the personnel capacity and relationship network to deliver projects that benefit migratory big game.
In October 2022, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed an agreement that uses diverse Farm Bill programs and state expertise and resources to support voluntary conservation of private working lands and migratory big game populations in Wyoming. The Fund, seeks proposals from land trusts, NGO’s, County Conservation Districts, Tribal Partners, etc. to synergize this infusion of USDA Farm Bill funds by helping willing landowners both access and navigate USDA Farm Bill funding sources (Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Grassland Conservation Reserve Program) along with providing NRCS technical assistance in the implementation of Farm Bill delivery in our geographic priority areas.
Seeking proposals to fund Full-Time Equivalent (FTE’s) which focus on Farm Bill delivery to willing landowners in geographic priority areas. Anticipated awards from The Fund are expected to range from $100,000-$300,000 over 2 years with a desire that positions have sustainability over a longer term with funding commitments from other sources. A future project implementation funding RFP is anticipated.
Geographic Priority Areas
USDA and Wyoming have identified several initial priority areas for their partnership. Proposals that focus on, or encompass, these priority areas will be ranked most highly (see attached map). These Include:
- Platte Valley, Baggs, and Sublette mule deer migration corridors
- Absaroka Front Winter Range Complex
- Wind River Reservation
At this time, partners recognize a need for additional “boots on the ground” to connect federal and state resources to worthy projects. Proposals to develop new organizational capacity will be favored, with emphasis on:
- Capacity Building FTE’s coordinating with and among landowners, local groups and agencies, focused on land protection (i.e., easements), habitat restoration (e.g., inventorying and modifying fences or managing invasive annual grass), supporting habitat leasing and other Farm Bill program delivery
- FTEs to complete model projects by 1) monitor existing projects from recent USDA Farm Bill signups (habitat leasing, checking specifications on fence contracts, range monitoring for Cheatgrass, etc.), and 2) identifying new, exemplar project opportunities in priority geographies.
- Focus on developing projects that utilize USDA Farm Bill funds and tools within geographic priorities
- Knowledge of the region and USDA Farm Bill programs/process
- Established relationships with landowners and/or tribes
- Evidence of collaboration with other partners (e.g. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, USFWS-with special focus on work to be completed on Wind River Reservation, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust)
- Organizational commitment to collaborative conservation focused on migratory big game
- Matching funds provided by applicant
- Evidence of long-term sustainability of position
- Willingness to enter into an agreement or MOU with USDA to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) if providing direct landowner assistance or accessing USDA records.
- Semi-annual progress reports
Please reach out to Chris McBarnes with The Fund if you are interested in submitting a proposal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307)316-3863. You will be provided detailed guidelines and a template for your proposal. Proposals will be reviewed by a grants advisory panel comprised of Department, Tribal, Federal, Private Landowner and Fund representation. Proposals will be reviewed by the grants advisory panel and recommendations for funding will be sent to the full Fund Board for consideration and any additional questions.