California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Proposal Solicitation Notice

Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Grant (Traditional Section 6) Solicitation Procedure

In order to be considered for funding, all applications must be submitted using the full proposal template and project budget table at the bottom of this page. Project proposals must be submitted through the Regional Manager or Branch Chief of the project’s CDFW staff sponsor.


  • Dec 8, 2014 - Project proposals due to Wildlife Branch
  • Dec 15, 2014 - CDFW Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) begins review of proposals
  • Jan 20, 2015 - CDFW Management Advisory Committee begins review of proposals
  • Feb 17, 2015 - CDFW Director begins review of proposals
  • Mar 13, 2015 - CDFW submits list of prioritized proposals to US Fish and Wildlife Service for grant award selections
  • Oct 30, 2015 – Estimated earliest date grant funds available to applicants

*Note - projects approved for this current grant cycle will not receive funding until after approval by the USFWS and federal appropriation of funds.


CDFW is authorized to award grants and contracts for threatened and endangered species projects to nonprofit organizations (501(c)(3), local government agencies, tribal governments, public colleges and universities, state departments, and federal agencies. A CDFW sponsor (approved by the respective Regional Manager or Branch Chief) that will be designated as the grant lead from a Region or Headquarters Branch Office is required for any submission.


Eligible applicants must have the specific capacity to deliver the objectives as demonstrated by past performance or expertise through a statement of qualifications and experience. Projects that require handling of (or potential impacts to) threatened or endangered species are required to have the appropriate local, state, and federal permits.

The State must provide a minimum non-Federal match of 25% of the cost of approved projects, or 10% when two or more States or Territories implement a joint project. The match source and amount must be identified in the proposal and can include in-kind services, Department staff time or operating expenses, volunteer contributions, or partial funding for the project from another non-federal source.

Proposals are encouraged to address the following priority themes identified by CDFW Management for the 2014/2014 grant cycle:

  • Resource assessment (e.g., surveys, inventory, monitoring) for ESA species
  • Applied science to aid current conservation decisions
  • Recovery actions for ESA species
  • Support for CESA listing petitions where there is a nexus with ESA species

To be eligible for Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Program (Traditional Section 6) funding consideration, projects must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Proposal must be submitted through, and supported by a CDFW Regional Manager or Branch Chief, and identify a CDFW Regional or Branch staff sponsor as lead grant contact.
  • Proposal identifies a USFWS field office staff lead contact, and indicates that contact has been initiated to inform/request input for the proposed project.
  • Grant applicant and field staff personnel must demonstrate qualification to carry out project field work on listed species, including documentation of relevant field experience.
  • State scientific collecting permits/MOUs and federal recovery permits must be current for staff identified to conduct work impacting listed species and included with proposal.
  • Projects that include proposed work on private lands must be accompanied by documented landowner permission to access those lands.
  • Project must identify non-federal match source and Document commitment of match source to provide funds or in-kind match.
  • Project is required to include stages or alternatives for partial funding for projects requesting greater than $200,000.

And at least one (1) of the following:

  • Project demonstrates a benefit or prevents an immediate threat for one or more identified federally endangered, threatened, candidate, or recently recovered species.
  • Project implements a priority action from a federal recovery plan or an action that is identified as necessary for recovery by the Service or the CDFW as described in a Federal Recovery Plan, USFWS 5-Year review, or documented as required by USFWS or CDFW in another form of conservation management or planning source.
  • Project contributes scientific information that supports federal listed, candidate, or recently recovered species recovery planning efforts or conservation actions.

Proposal Review

Project proposals submitted on or prior to the deadline stated in the CDFW PSN will be evaluated and ranked based on the following administrative and program reviews.

First, projects undergo an administrative review to determine if projects meet the Federal Section 6 criteria and CDFW eligibility requirements. Qualifying projects move forward to program review.

Proposed projects are reviewed at two levels (technical and management) prior to the final recommended project list being submitted to the Director for final the CDFW recommendation and proposal to the USFWS.

  • Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) - This is a committee that consists of CDFW technical staff representing scientific programs in headquarters branches and regions statewide. The Committee evaluates and scores proposed projects based on biological need, feasibility, and anticipated benefit.
  • Management Advisory Committee (MAC) - This is a committee that consists of CDFW managers from headquarters and regions, which has the responsibility to review and comment on conservation and recovery priorities in California. The MAC determines annual priorities and scores the proposals forwarded from the TAC.

Each proposal will be evaluated and scored based upon the criteria below by CDFW’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Proposals will be distributed among TAC members such that a minimum of three members read, evaluate, and score each proposal.

The scores of the TAC will then be averaged and ranked numerically.

The scoring of each proposal will use the following criteria:

Immediate Threat / Benefit to Species Award points for only one of the below:

1.1  Project is urgently needed to avoid imminent extinction of a federally listed or candidate species.
1.2  Project is necessary to avoid a significant decline in a federally listed or candidate species’ population, distribution, or range; or to avoid or reverse a significant reduction in habitat quality.
1.3  Project generates scientific information needed to support species recovery planning, management, and conservation actions of federally listed, candidate, or recently recovered species.
1.4  Project will increase the statewide population, distribution, or range of federally listed, candidate, or recently recovered species; or improve habitat quality over a substantial area.

Recovery Priority and Need Award points for only one of the below:

2.1  Project is the last step to meet federal recovery plan goals.
2.2  Project is the necessary next identified step from the species’ federal recovery plan.
2.3  Project implements a priority action from the species’ federal recovery plan.
2.4  Project implements an identified recovery action from an identified effort other than a federal recovery plan.
2.5  Project implements an important recovery action, although the action has not been identified in an existing plan.

Additional Scores Award points on each line:

3  Project actively restores, enhances, manages, or preserves a substantial portion of a federally listed, candidate, or recently recovered species’ habitat.
4  Proposal demonstrates substantial benefits to multiple federally listed, candidate, or recently recovered species
5  Proposal demonstrates substantial benefits to multiple Species of Greatest Conservation Need as identified in the State Wildlife Action Plan.
6  Project objectives include the following “SMART” elements: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.
7  Proposal identifies appropriate, defensible, and achievable scientific and non-scientific methodology.
8  Project assesses or contributes to species ability to persist in a changing climate.
9  Project includes an education and/or outreach effort and proposal demonstrates how the project will substantially benefit one or more federally listed, candidate, or recently recovered species.

Scored proposals are delivered to the MAC by the TAC, where they are reviewed based upon management priorities and statewide priorities that extend beyond technical scientific and conservation benefit. Each Region/Branch is allocated 10 points to distribute among projects based on recommendations.

Finally, the Director, or his Executive Team designee, has 50 discretionary points to distribute during his review to use for CDFW critical or collaborative projects that best address the most pressing issues related to listed species recovery and conservation in California.

Final Selection Process

The ranked CDFW proposal list is finalized and submitted to USFWS for their review and approval. USFWS priorities or requirements can influence project selection in any given year. USFWS priorities and criteria are included in each year's Federal RFP. A list of approved projects will be updated and available on the Traditional Section 6 website each year once they have been approved by the USFWS Regional Director.

Proposal Template and Budget Worksheet

For questions regarding the Traditional Section 6 Grant proposal scoring process or preliminary project consultation contact Dan Applebee: (209) 588-1879,