WILDFIRE RISK REDUCTION GRANT PROGRAM
US DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR/US BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTERED BY: The New Mexico Association of Counties
The Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program targets at-risk communities by offering seed money to help defray the costs of reducing wildland fire risk on non-federal lands in WUI areas throughout New Mexico. The program is only applicable to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). WUI is defined as identified in an approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Funding for this grant program is intended to directly benefit communities that may be impacted by wildland fire initiating from or spreading to BLM public land.
Deadline to Apply
Applications open in January of 2018, deadline TBD (March 2018).
Eligible applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
: Be a County Government or Municipality, a 501(c)(3) organization in the State of New Mexico, a statutorily recognized political subdivision such as a Soil & Water Conservation District, or a Native American tribe working on behalf of one or more communities at risk of wildfires in the State of New Mexico; AND
: Contribute at least 10% cost share to the project that can include “in-kind” services.
In-kind services may be comprised of labor, staff work, or any other non-federal agency participation costs: AND
: Have their local BLM Fire/Fuels Management Officer review and sign off on the application for evaluation, which could lead to funding. Additional signatures are needed for Hazardous Fuels Treatments.
Funding priority is given to applicants who request funding for outreach and education projects (i.e. Fire Adaptive Communities, Firewise, Ready, Set, Go) that encourage reducing wildfire risk on private lands and can show a direct benefit to BLM lands. The program is also encouraging CWPP updates for plans that are more than three years old. CWPP updates are included with the program information. A limited number of hazardous fuel reduction projects will also be considered and should focus on treatments to private lands with a direct benefit to BLM lands. Applicants may apply for complimentary projects with no more than one per category (1 Fuel Treatment, 1 Education, Prevention and Outreach, 1 CWPP Update). Each project must be submitted on a different application.
A completed and approved CWPP is a pre-requisite for funding through this program.
All project proposals require a minimum 10% cost share. Cost share can be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Funded projects must be completed within 12 months of award acceptance.
It is the responsibility of the grantee to assure that if their project is selected for funding through the Wildfire Risk Reduction Program that it complies with applicable local, state, and federal laws. Applicants who receive more than $500,000 annually from federal sources will be required to submit a copy of their audit to NMAC.
All funds must be expended within 12 months of award acceptance. Funds cannot be used to attempt to influence legislation or the outcome of any public election.
Prescribed burning of any type including, but not limited to, broadcast burns, pile burns, understory burns, etc. is explicitly excluded as an approved practice through this grant program.
Endangered Species & Cultural/Historic Preservation Requirements
All projects that include ground-disturbing activities such as thinning or other forms of fuel reduction require compliance with both endangered species and cultural/historic preservation laws. Photographs of the area where fuel treatment projects are proposed are required to assist with determining clearance requirements. Applicants are encouraged to review the Biological Assessment and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Consultation guidance documents provided on the NMAC website under Funding Opportunities/Public Safety/Fire. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate the following “best practices” in the implementation of fuel reduction projects in order to limit requirements for clearance approval:
a) Do not use off road vehicles during the project.
b) Do not drag slash into piles; rather hand carry or move with wheeled carts.
c) Do not use mechanical thinning equipment. Hand-thin with chain-saws.
d) Use general best management practices to prevent soil erosion.
NMAC will review all Hazardous Fuel Reduction funding requests to determine appropriate compliance requirements. NMAC will then assist successful applicants through the compliance process, which in some sensitive areas may require changing the season, scope or type of work proposed, conducting cultural or species surveys, and/or consulting with state and/or federal agencies.
Letters of Commitment
Letters from committed partners must identify roles, responsibilities, and cost sharing arrangement for the specified project. Form letters will not be considered. Each letter must be submitted on the committed partners letterhead and include a current date. General letters of support should not be included. **A letter from the local BLM Fire/Fuel Management Officer (FMO) or District Fuels Specialist from the area BLM office is required and contact should be made no later than the specific March deadline provided during the application process. This will give the staff enough time to do a site visit and help with any adjustments.*
Applicants for Hazardous Fuel Treatment funding must include a United States Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5-minute topographical map of the project footprint. Information regarding these maps can be obtained through the USGS website at http://topomaps.usgs.gov/ . These maps will be required for cultural and endangered species review of all Hazardous Fuel Treatment project applications. Fuel Treatment applications are also required to provide photographs of project area vegetation.
Funding Potential for Award–Anticipated funding for the 2018-2019 Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program is approximately $280,000.00
Range of Awards
1. Grants for Hazardous Fuel Reduction projects on non-federal lands are anticipated to be up to $50,000/project.
2. Grants for Wildland Fire Education, Prevention and Outreach Activities that support implementation of an applicable CWPP are anticipated to be up to $10,000/project.
3. Grants for CWPP Updates to address broader WUI definitions or other modifications to previously approved CWPPs in order to address community specific actions, strategies, or treatments are anticipated to be up to $15,000/project. If you are considering updating your CWPP or WUI definition please reference the attached list of requirements.
Funding Cycle – Duration
Release of Application for Funding
Application deadline – no late or incomplete applications accepted
Selection committee reviews project proposals
NMAC Board reviews and approves committee recommendations
Successful grant recipients are notified
July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
12 Month Grant Timeframe
Source of Funds–The Wildfire Risk Reduction Program for Rural Communities was established in 2005 under the National Fire Plan to assist communities throughout New Mexico in reducing their risk from wildland fire on non-federal lands. The New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC), a nonprofit community foundation, has partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to administer the program and distribute awards.
Grant awards will primarily be disbursed through quarterly reimbursement installments throughout the course of the 12-month grant period (i.e. personnel costs). Projects that require funds for a one-time task (i.e. equipment purchase) may be approved for a one time distribution.
All grant recipients will be required to submit biannual progress reports to the New Mexico Association of Counties. A template has been provided with the program release and reports will include examples of news articles/press releases about your project, copies of any educational products developed, as well as photographs of your project’s progress if applicable. Before and after photographs will be required for fuel treatment projects. If selected to receive a grant, organizations will be notified about progress report deadlines.
Upon completion of the grant, all grant recipients will be required to submit an executive summary of the project to the New Mexico Association of Counties.
Deadline–The specific deadline for applications has not yet been determined, but will be in March 2018.
How to Apply–Application forms will be posted to the New Mexico Association of Counties website in January 2018. Applicants should submit one complete copy of the application including maps and letters of specific commitment – BY THE IDENTIFIED DEADLINE. Submit to the New Mexico Association of Counties, Attn: Wildfire Risk Reduction Program, 444 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Applications may also be submitted electronically to Katelyn Quiroz at firstname.lastname@example.org. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted or considered for funding.
Selection Criteria & Decision Authority–Funding for this grant program is intended to directly benefit communities that may be impacted by wildland fire originating on or spreading to BLM public land. As a result, the following criteria will be considered when your project is evaluated.
Projects must demonstrate that:
: The area impacted by the project (s) is at risk to fire originating on or spreading to BLM public land.
: The area impacted by the project is in the wildland urban interface (WUI) as defined by the applicable CWPP for the project.
Special consideration will be given to projects that:
: Are for Hazardous Fuel Reduction and can demonstrate appropriate mitigation measures for cultural and endangered species impacts
: Are directly adjacent to BLM public land
: Include an Education, Prevention, and Outreach activity that compliments a requested Hazardous Fuel Reduction project
: Provides greater than the minimum 10% cost share
: Develop National Fire Plan – Community Capacity (ECO Friendly, Landscape Scale Projects)
: Compliments existing or ongoing projects
: Utilizes Biomass from Hazardous Fuel Reduction projects
: Can demonstrate a cost-effective approach to treating hazardous fuels
: Develops sustainable education projects such as Train-the-Trainer
: Provides a benefit to multiple communities identified by the New Mexico Communities at Risk Assessment Plan
: Does not needlessly duplicate similar efforts in the community
A Selection Committee comprised of wildland fire experts, federal, state and local government officials will review all project proposals and make funding recommendations. The New Mexico Association of Counties Board of Directors will have final approval of these recommendations.
The Wildfire Risk Reduction Program for Rural Communities was established in 2005 under the National Fire Plan to assist communities throughout New Mexico in reducing their risk from wildland fire on non-federal lands. The New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC), a nonprofit community foundation, has partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to administer the program and distribute awards.
This grant program is only applicable to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). WUI is defined as identified in an approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). A completed and approved CWPP is a pre-requisite for funding through this program. The program targets at-risk communities by offering seed money to help defray the costs of reducing wildland fire risk on non-federal lands in WUI areas throughout New Mexico. Funding for this grant program is intended to directly benefit communities that may be impacted by wildland fire initiating from or spreading to BLM public land.
Related Programs (N/A)
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