California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Endangered Species Act (ESA) Nontraditional Section 6 - Recovery Land Acquisition Grant Program

The ESA Nontraditional Section 6 Recovery Land Acquisition (RLA) Grant Program is one of four grant programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund and authorized through Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The RLA Grant Program provides funding to States and Territories for the acquisition of threatened and endangered species habitat in support of approved and draft species recovery plans, and is coordinated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Wildlife Branch in California. There are two additional nontraditional grants available for Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition (HCPLA) and Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance (HCPA), both coordinated by the Habitat Conservation Planning Branch. The fourth type of Section 6 Grant available is known as Traditional Section 6 Program and supports recovery projects for Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery, and is administered by CDFW Wildlife Branch.

Loss of habitat is the primary threat to most listed species and land acquisition is often the most effective and efficient means of protecting habitats essential for the recovery of listed species before development or other land use changes impair or destroy key habitat values. Land acquisition is costly and often neither the Service nor the States individually have the necessary resources to acquire habitats essential for recovery of listed species. Recovery Land Acquisition grant funds are matched by States and other non-Federal entities to acquire these habitats from willing sellers.

As in previous fiscal years, in order to support high priority efforts of the Service and States, a process has been implemented whereby the Service Regional Directors are provided with 25 points total in each of the Nontraditional Programs to distribute among project proposals to reflect the collective priorities of the State and the Service. States and Service Regional Directors are asked to consider how a proposal may address conservation in the context of climate change when assigning these points to a proposal. All RLA Grant information, including the most current federal request for proposals (RFP), scoring criteria, available funding, approved projects, and grant cycle deadlines are available on the USFWS grant website.

Each year, a list of RLA project proposals are submitted to USFWS by CDFW, where they are subjected to a competitive scoring process described above. The number of projects funded each year is dependent on the amount of funding available and the amount distributed to each state. Once projects are approved, money is not available until Section 6 funds are allocated in the following Federal Fiscal Year.

Applicants are required to identify a CDFW lead person to sponsor and review project proposals concurrent with their submission to the CDFW Regional Office (of the Region where the project is located) once the yearly Federal RFP is released and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issues a due date for proposal submission. It is also recommended to coordinate with USFWS Field Office staff for proposal input.

Proposals for 2014 must be submitted in coordination with CDFW Region/Program leads to the Wildlife Branch by February 14, 2014 5pm to allow time for final reviews and to complete administrative submission requirements. Applicants need to submit proposals to Region leads by January 31, 2014 for final edits. The deadline for CDFW to submit the RLA proposal package to USFWS is March 14, 2014.

Submission Information

Email: wildlifemgt@wildlife.ca.gov (please include "2014 RLA Grant Proposal" in the subject line)

Or submissions can be mailed to:

CDFW Wildlife Branch, Nongame Wildlife Program
1812 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Attn: 2014 RLA Grant Proposal

Proposal development information will be added below as it becomes available.