National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: National Wildlife Refuge Friends
The National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program funds projects that assist organizations in being effective co-stewards of important natural resources within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The program assists refuge Friends organizations in developing projects, expanding and increasing their capacity and skills, meeting local refuge conservation challenges, and gaining and building community recognition. The main goal of the grant program is to foster active, vibrant and effective Friends partnerships through four distinct proposal categories:
- Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants: Funds will be provided to assist both starting and established refuge Friends organizations to build their capacity. Funds for newly forming or reviving organizations may include formative and/or initial operational support.
- Project Specific Grants: Funds will be provided to refuge Friends organizations seeking support for projects initiated and managed by the Friends.
- Peer-to-Peer Coaching (P2P): Funds will support Friends organizations who propose to coordinate and execute a Friends training workshop for a minimum of three other refuge Friends organizations.
- Special Initiative – Public Access Enhancements and Increasing Hunting and Fishing Experiences on National Wildlife Refuges: Funding is available to refuge Friends organization seeking to work with their Service site and partners in the following categories:
- Access and facilities: Develop new or repair/improve/expand existing public access points or facilities, or construct new recreational infrastructure (e.g., roads, trails, boat ramps, fishing docks, hunt blinds, information kiosks, or infrastructure for people with disabilities)
- Outreach, Experiences, and Education Programs: Work in collaboration and coordination with State, Local, and Tribal governments to support hunting and fishing recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts by dovetailing, developing new, or improving or expanding hunting or fishing experiences and/or programs
- Habitat Restoration: Partner with habitat restoration projects which seek to enhance sustainable hunting and fishing programs
Amount: A total of $150,000 ($50,000 of which is set aside for the special initiative) is available to make awards that range from $1,500-$15,000. Friends organizations are encouraged (but not required) to contribute 1:1 non-federal matching contributions. All Friends grants should be completed within two years of project start date.
Eligibility: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Friends organizations whose primary mission is to support a refuge or a complex of refuges. Applicants must either be tax exempt under section 501(c), OR be in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status and submit with their grant application a copy of the letter from the IRS confirming your application has been filed. The applicant’s United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Regional Friends Coordinator must be contacted and involved as an official service contact with the coaching planning effort. Additionally, all affiliated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff should be invited to the entire training, but are not required to attend.
Note: National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in New Mexico include: Maxwell NWR, Rio Mora NWR and Conservation Area, Las Vegas NWR, Valle de Oro NWR, Sevilleta NWR, Bosque del Apache NWR, Grulla NWR, Bitter Lake NWR, and San Andres NWR
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