California is blessed with natural beauty, biological diversity, and economic opportunity. Yet the state’s wildland heritage is in jeopardy from poorly managed growth and development. The California Wildlands Grassroots Fund (Cal Wildlands), an initiative of the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, was established to support the efforts of activists to preserve those wildlands.
Cal Wildlands supports conservationists advocating for the permanent protection, including restoration and stewardship, of intact wildlands on both public and private lands in California. The fund defines "wildlands" as natural habitats, privately or publicly owned, that are (or have the potential to be) permanently preserved through legislation or deed restrictions and are on a scale necessary to support significant native plant and animal life. Although many of the funds grantees' projects are in rural areas, it also supports projects near urban or suburban settings, provided they feature connectivity to larger protected areas and/or are located along critical wildlife corridors.
Efforts to advance wildlands and open space protection through county general plans and other local planning mechanisms may be eligible for funding. The fund also supports policy advocacy, litigation, and regulatory watchdogging at the local, state, and federal levels if the project objective is to protect wildlands.
The fund accepts applications at any time, with funding decisions made on a quarterly basis. For the winter review, the deadline is October 28.
To be eligible for a grant from Cal Wildlands, organizations must be based in California or, if not based in California, be able to explain to the foundation why it is qualified for a grant; have an annual expenses of less $150,000; have tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or be a sponsored project of a 501(c)(3) organization, or be an individual affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization; have a funding request of $7,500 or less; and not have received a grant from Cal Wildlands in the past twelve months.
For more information about the fund’s priorities and eligibility requirements, as well as application instructions and tips, see the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment website.