The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is soliciting proposals for projects designed to restore and sustain healthy forests and rivers in the New England region.
Through the New England Forests and Rivers Fund, NFWF will award matching grants of up to $200,000 to projects that strengthen the health and species diversity of rivers, riverine systems, and public and private forestlands in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as the Lake Champlain and Upper Hudson watersheds.
The fund has identified the following priorities.
Healthy Forest Systems — The fund seeks projects that include assessment and implementation with a corresponding measurable benefit to priority avian species; projects that enhance early successional forest habitat as part of a landscape effort to restore forest age and structural diversity; management strategies and practices that enhance age and structural diversity for mature and late successional forest habitat; efforts that work with large public and private landowners to adopt pollinator-friendly practices and create pollinator habitat on unmanaged or under-utilized lands; and projects that provide outreach and technical assistance to engage private landowners and local governments in restoration and conservation efforts.
Healthy River Systems — The fund seeks projects designed to restore river function, water quality, and enhance the long-term persistence of native species in aquatic systems, including those that restore connectivity by removing or replacing undersized or perched culverts and small dams that are barriers to fish passage; those that replant riparian areas with native vegetation to reduce stream temperature and enhance reciprocal exchanges between aquatic-terrestrial habitats; those that provide outreach and technical assistance to engage private landowners and local governments in restoration and conservation on their lands; and those that conduct native trout inventory and assessments.
Healthy Forests and Rivers — The fund seeks innovative projects that demonstrate the inextricable connection between forest and river ecosystems, including those that demonstrate forest management prescriptions that minimize impacts on water through timing and site selection and that maximize habitat benefits for both aquatic and upland species; those that demonstrate synergistic restoration opportunities that use wood products from forest management activities to provide in-stream habitat structure; and those that target opportunities to restore forested riparian and wetland buffers to maximize habitat benefits for both aquatic species (e.g., eastern brook trout, river herring) and riparian dwelling birds (e.g., Louisiana waterthrush, rusty blackbird).
Approximately $1.6 million is available through the RFP, and grant amounts will range from $50,000 to $200,000. The program awards approximately twelve to fifteen grants per year. Grants require non-federal matching contributions valued at 50 percent of the total project cost.
Projects that involve stewardship of family-owned woodlands and that target efforts in the following fifteen watersheds are encouraged: the Upper Adroscoggin, Saco, Merrimack and Middle Connecticut, Maine Coastal, Piscataquis, Lower Kennebec, Upper Kennebec, Mattawamkeag, Lower Penobscot, Pssamaquoddy Bay/Bay of Fundy, Aroostook, St. Croix, Lake Champlain, and Upper Hudson.
Eligible applicants must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or be a state, local, or municipal government agency, an Indian tribe, or an educational institution.
Projects must take place in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or the Lake Champlain and Upper Hudson watersheds.
See the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.