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Natural Resources Conservation Service: Conservation Innovation Grants

Deadline: May 30, 2014

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches into NRCS policy, technical manuals, guides, and references, or to the private sector. CIG grants are a vehicle to stimulate development and adoption of conservation approaches or technologies that have been studied sufficiently to indicate a high likelihood of success, and that are candidates for eventual technology transfer or institutionalization. CIG promotes sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, and facilities among communities, governments, and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users. CIG funds projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. CIG does not fund research projects and projects intended to test hypotheses do not qualify for a CIG award. To be given priority consideration, the innovative project or activity must comply with all federal, state, and local regulations throughout the duration of the project and should:

  • Make use of a proven technology or a technology that has been studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success;
  • Demonstrate and verify environmental (soil, water, air, plants, energy, and animal) effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of conservation technology in the field;
  • Adapt conservation technologies, management, practices, systems, procedures, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption;
  • Introduce conservation systems, approaches, and procedures from another geographic area or agricultural sector; or
  • Demonstrate transferability of knowledge.

NCRS New Mexico is seeking proposals that address:

  • Plant Community Health (improvements via underutilized technologies such as Prescribed Burning, riparian or wetland restoration);
  • Water Conservation (achieved via improvements in irrigated agriculture or under utilize ranch management techniques); and
  • Drought Flexibility: Livestock grazing or irrigated agriculture related production practices that facilitate agricultural production in drought conditions.

Eligibility: Eligible entities include Federally recognized Indian Tribes, State and local units of government, and non-governmental organizations and individuals in New Mexico.

Amount: NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2014 will be up to $100,000. CIG will fund single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years. The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000. CIG recipients must match the USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and in-kind contributions.

Link: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/nm/programs/financial/cig/

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