[Federal Register: July 31, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 147)]
[Page 44965-44966]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

North American Wetlands Conservation Act: Request for Small 
Grants Proposals for Year 2004

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of request for proposals.


SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to advise the public that we, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the North American 
Wetlands Conservation Council (Council), are currently entertaining 
proposals that request match funding for wetland and wetland-associated 
upland conservation projects under the Small Grants program. Projects 
must meet the purposes of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act 
of 1989, as amended. We will give funding priority to projects from new 
grant applicants with new partners, where the project ensures long-term 
conservation benefits. However, previous Act grantees are eligible to 
receive funding and can compete successfully on the basis of strong 
project resource values.

DATES: Proposals must be postmarked no later than Friday, November 28, 

ADDRESSES: Address proposals to: Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 
4075, Arlington, Virginia 22203, Attn: Small Grants Coordinator.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Keith A. Morehouse, Small Grants 
Coordinator, or Office Secretary, Division of Bird Habitat 
Conservation, 703.358.1784; facsimile 703.358.2282.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the 1989 North American 
Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), as amended (16 U.S.C. 4401 et seq.) 
is, through partnerships, to promote long-term conservation of North 
American wetland ecosystems and the waterfowl and other migratory 
birds, fish and wildlife that depend upon such habitats. Principal 
conservation actions supported by NAWCA are acquisition, enhancement 
and restoration of wetlands and wetlands-associated upland habitat.
    Initiated in 1996, the underlying objective of the NAWCA-based 
Small Grants program is to promote long-term wetlands conservation 
activities through encouraging participation by new grantees and 
partners who may not otherwise be able to compete in the Standard 
Grants program. We also hope that successful participants in the Small 
Grants program later will be encouraged to participate as a grantee or 
partner in the Standard Grants program. Over the first seven years of 
the Small Grants program, about 630 proposals requesting a total of 
approximately $24.1 million competed for funding. Ultimately, 206 
projects were funded over this period for about $8.7 million. For 2004, 
with the approval of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, we 
have made the Small Grants program operational at approximately $2.0 
million. That is, up to $2.0 million in Small Grants wetland projects 
may be funded. However, ultimately, the level of Small Grant funding 
depends upon the quality of the pool of grant proposals.
    To be considered for funding in the 2004 cycle, proposals must have 
a grant request no greater than $50,000. We will accept all wetland 
conservation proposals that meet the requirements of the Act. However, 
considering appropriate proposal resource values, we will give funding 
priority to projects from new grant applicants (individuals or 
organizations who have never received a NAWCA grant) with new partners, 
where the project ensures

[[Page 44966]]

long-term conservation benefits. This priority system does not preclude 
former NAWCA grant recipients from receiving Small Grants funding; 
ultimately, project resource value is the critical factor in deciding 
which projects receive funding. Also, projects are likely to receive a 
greater level of attention if they are part of a broader related or 
unrelated effort to bring or restore wetland or wetland-associated 
upland conservation values to a particular area or region.
    In addition, proposals must represent on-the-ground projects, and 
any overhead in the project budget must constitute 10 percent or less 
of the grant amount. The anticipated magnitude of wetlands and wildlife 
resources benefits that will result from project execution is an 
important factor in proposal evaluation, and there should be a 
reasonable balance between acreages of wetlands and wetland-associated 
uplands. As per the Act, mitigation-related projects are not considered 
for funding.
    Please keep in mind that NAWCA and matching funds may be applied 
only to wetlands acquisition, creation, enhancement, and/or 
restoration; they may not be applied to signage, displays, trails or 
other educational features, materials and equipment, even though the 
goal of the project may ultimately be to support wetland conservation 
education curricula. Projects oriented toward education are not 
ordinarily eligible for NAWCA funding because education is not a 
primary purpose of the Act. However, acceptable project outcomes can 
include educational benefits resulting from conservation actions. 
Research is also not a primary purpose of the Act, and research 
proposals are not considered for funding.
    Even though we require less total application information for Small 
Grants than we do for the Standard Grants program, Small Grant 
proposals must have clear explanations and meet the basic purposes 
given above and the 1:1 or greater non-Federal matching requirements of 
the NAWCA. Small Grants projects must also be consistent with Council-
established guidelines, objectives and policies. All non-Federal 
matching funds and proposed expenditures of grant funds must be 
consistent with Appendix A of the Small Grants instructions, 
``Eligibility Requirements for Match of NAWCA Grant and Non-Federal 
Funds.'' Applicants must submit a completed Standard Form 424, 
Application For Federal Assistance. Hard copies of Small Grant 
instructions (booklets) are no longer provided, except under special 
circumstances. However, the NAWCA Program website, birdhabitat.fws.gov, 
contains instructions for completing and submitting a Small Grant 
application, as well as forms and instructions for the Standard Form 
    Small Grant proposals may be submitted prior to the due date but 
must be postmarked no later than Friday, November 28, 2003. Address 
submitted proposals as follows: Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 
MSBP4075, Arlington, VA 22203, Attn: Small Grants Coordinator.
    Applicants must submit complete grant request packages to the 
Division of Bird Habitat Conservation (DBHC), including all of the 
documentation of partners (partner letters) with funding pledge 
amounts. Information on funding in partner letters, i.e., amounts and 
description regarding use, must correspond with budget amounts in the 
budget table and any figures provided in the narrative.
    With the volume of proposals received, we usually are not able to 
contact proposal sources to verify and/or request supplemental data 
and/or materials. Thus, those proposals lacking required information or 
containing conflicting information are subject to being declared 
ineligible and not further considered for funding.
    For more information, call the DBHC office secretary at 
703.358.1784, facsimile 703.358.2282, or send e-mail to dbhc@fws.gov. 
Small Grant application instructions may be available by E-mail as a 
WordPerfect(copyright) file, upon special request.
    In conclusion, we require that, upon arrival in the DBHC, proposal 
packages must be: complete with regard to the information requested, 
presented in the format requested, and be presented according to the 
established deadline.
    The Service submitted information collection requirements to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. On August 28, 2002, 
OMB gave its approval for this information collection and confirmed the 
approval number as 1018-0100; this approval expires on August 31, 2005. 
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. The information collection solicited: is 
necessary to gain a benefit in the form of a grant, as determined by 
the North American Wetlands Conservation Council and the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Commission; is necessary to determine the eligibility and 
relative value of wetland projects; results in an approximate paperwork 
burden of 80 hours per application; and does not carry a premise of 
confidentiality. The information collections in this program will not 
be part of a system of records covered by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 
    Starting October 1, 2003, applicants are required to provide a DUNS 
number when submitting applications for a Federal Government grant. 
Thus, this requirement will be in effect for the November 28, 2003, 
postmarking deadline of the Small Grants applications for 2004 funding. 
A DUNS number is a 9-digit unique identifier available from Dun and 
Bradstreet, either through the Web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com
 or by phone at 1.866.705.5711.

    Dated: July 17, 2003.
Matt Hogan,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-19523 Filed 7-30-03; 8:45 am]