Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards millions of dollars to state or local government agencies, Tribes, private non-profit or for-profit organizations, individuals and educational institutions to complete conservation projects across the United States. Some of these grants are awarded to projects that recover listed species and restore habitat in California. The Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office works alongside grant recipients as they complete projects that result in positive conservation outcomes for species in our jurisdiction.  

Funding Opportunities

Recovery Challenge Fund 
  • Application Due Date: December 19, 2023
  • Description: The Recovery Challenge Fund provides a unique financial assistance opportunity for eligible, non-Federal, longstanding and new partners working on high priority recovery actions as identified by the Service for ESA endangered and threatened species.
  • More information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=350625
The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) Traditional Conservation Grants
  • Application Due Date: May 24, 2024
  • Description: The principle objective of CESCF's Traditional Conservation grants is to support the development and implementation of the State's program to conserve and recovery threatened and endangered species under FWS' jurisdiction and that are covered by the State's ESA Cooperative Agreement with the FWS. Eligible activities include introduction of species within historic range, surveys, propagation, research, habitat restoration, public education and outreach. Proposed activities must be identified as recovery actions in a FWS recovery plan, identified in a FWS 5-year review, or identified in another USFWS document. Monitoring of candidate, certain at-risk, and recently recovered species is also eligible. Candidate, at-risk, or recently recovered species must also be covered by the State's ESA Cooperative Agreement with the USFWS.
  • Apply Here! Notice of Funding Opportunity: https://www.grants.gov/search-results-detail/351256
The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) Recovery Land Acquisition (RLA), Habitat Conservation Planning Land Acquisition (HCPLA), and Conservation Planning Assistance 
  • Application Due Date: March 2, 2023
  • Description: The Recovery Land Acquisition (RLA) program supports the acquisition habitat, fee simple or conservation easement conservation easement
    A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a government agency or qualified conservation organization that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on a property in the future. Conservation easements aim to protect habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife by limiting residential, industrial or commercial development. Contracts may prohibit alteration of the natural topography, conversion of native grassland to cropland, drainage of wetland and establishment of game farms. Easement land remains in private ownership.

    Learn more about conservation easement
    , for federally listed species in support of Service approved recovery plans, or draft recovery plans if the species has been listed for at least 2.5 years. A recovery outline may be referenced if the species has been listed less than 2.5 years. The Habitat Conservation Planning Land Acquisition (HCPLA) grant program was designed to reduce conflicts between the conservation of listed species and competing land uses on specific parcels of land associated with approved and permitted habitat conservation plans. Under this program, the Service provides matching grants to states in support of land acquisition projects that will conserve species habitat in perpetuity through fee simple acquisition or the acquisition of permanent conservation easements. 
  • More information: 
Central Valley Project Conservation Program and Central Valley Project Improvement Act Habitat Restoration Program Grants for Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024
  • Application Due Date: December 30, 2022
  • Description: The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide up to $4.7 million in grants during fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to applicants whose projects protect and restore native habitat that is impacted by the Central Valley Project (CVP), stabilize and improve populations of native species impacted by the CVP, or assist with the recovery of federal and state-listed species whose populations have been impacted by the CVP.  Applications for land protection, habitat restoration, research, and captive propagation and or reintroduction projects will be considered for funding.
  • More information: Visit https://www.grants.gov/ and select “Search Grants” from the menu bar. From there, enter R23AS00026 in the “Opportunity Number” search field found under “Basic Search Criteria” on the left side of the page. This will provide a link to the notice. Click on the opportunity number link, and the NOFO can be located under the “Related Documents” tab.


Conservation Projects Completed with USFWS Grants

  • Placer County Conservation Program Land Acquisition: In northern California, winter rains give life to seasonal wetlands called vernal pools. These pools only hold water for a few months, but they create a unique home for tiny, freshwater invertebrates and are used by amphibians for breeding. Last year, the Placer County Conservation Program used grant money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and matching conservation funds from California’s Wildlife Conservation Board and Placer County’s Placer Legacy Program to purchase and conserve 560 acres of land that contains a large set of connected vernal pools and a riparian riparian
    Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

    Learn more about riparian
    wetland. Surveys of the vernal pools in this new preserve, known as the Redwing Preserve, have shown that they support a robust population of vernal pool fairy shrimp, which is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA provides a critical safety net for fish, wildlife and plants and has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species. We are grateful for partners like the Placer County Conservation Program, who play a critical role in supporting the recovery of listed species through the conservation and management of important pieces of habitat. Learn more about the habitat conservation plan here.
  • Sierra Nevada Red Fox Research Grant: In 2023, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided a $236,000 grant to the Wildlife Ecology Institute for research on the Sierra Nevada red fox. The grant is part of the Service's Section 6 Recovery Grant program. The funding will be used to purchase, install and monitor data collected by motion-sensing infrared trail cameras that will be strategically placed in areas where the fox is thought to roam. DNA will be collected on each fox using hair-snagging devices installed at the camera locations and collecting scat and urine left at the scene. The DNA analyses will help determine gender and the genetic "family tree" of each fox observed. This information will be essential for building an understanding of fox populations in the Sierra Nevada and the threats that continue to pressure this unique, high-elevation mammal.