Cooperative Landscape Conservation

By leveraging resources and strategically targeting science to inform conservation decisions and actions, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are being established to create a network of partners working in unison to ensure the sustainability of America s land, water, wildlife and cultural resources.

Facilitated
credit: List of Images

by the Department of the Interior (DOI) as part of its collaborative, science-based response to climate change, each of the LCCs will operate within a specific landscape, covering the entire United States by dividing the landscape into 21 geographic areas.

Defined based on ecological boundaries, the LCC s also include portions of Mexico and Canada.

Partners will include federal, state, and local governments, tribes, universities, nongovernmental organizations, landowners, and other stakeholders.

Collectively, LCCs will form a network of land, water, wildlife and cultural resource managers, scientists, and interested public and private organizations-within the U.S.

and across our international borders-that share a common need for scientific information and interest in conservation.

These landscape-scale, applied conservation science partnerships support and enhance on-the-ground conservation efforts by facilitating the production and dissemination of applied science products for resource management decisions.



The U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service s Cooperative Landscape Conservation program will provide scientific and technical support and funding to LCC-prioritized biological planning, conservation design and adaptive management projects to include: research; inventory design and implementation; monitoring; goal and priority setting associated with efficient and effective conservation; and development of implementation strategies; and projects supporting all other LCC organizational efforts, including planning, establishment, maintenance, and general business operations.

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2010: Funded projects include:
• The Arctic LCC is funding projects that bring together environmental physicists, GIS analysts and polar bear biologists to predict locations for polar bear dens given climate and weather variables, such as snowfall, wind, and topography.

This decision support tool will increase planners" ability to route industrial ice roads from oil and gas development to minimize conflicts with denning polar bears.

Partners include: FWS Marine Mammal Management, FWS Endangered Species Program, USGS Coastal Studies, USGS Marine Polar Bear Project, DOE North Slope Decision Support Tool project team, UAF Water Environment Research Center, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.



• The Great Northern LCC Steering Committee serving the Montana and Wyoming area recognized the considerable geographic overlap between multiple entities, including the Western Governors Association, BLM, USFS, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

A demonstration project was approved to ensure that these entities work closely together, with efforts that are not duplicative.

The Great Northern LCC, which counts these entities as partners, can play a primary role in this demonstration project by developing agreed upon tools, systems and assessments which align work and connect the goals of these independent players.

Moreover, LCC work assists with data acquisition in the Greater Yellowstone area and provides a centralized body to facilitate communications with stakeholders, managers, and partners.



• The Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks (GCPO) LCC has worked on an integrated coastal assessment as part of the Southeast Regional Assessment Project for USGS s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.

GCPO LCC funded an expansion of the assessment to the entire coastline within the GCPO geography.

Objectives of the assessment include: 1) predicting coastal erosion and inundation under a range of sea level rise scenarios; 2) assessing the impact of potential sea level rise on coastal ecosystems and related wildlife resources, and; 3) developing visual products to help local resource managers anticipate sea level rise, and design adaptations to projected changes.

Fiscal Year 2011: (anticipated): Anticipated funding opportunities will be focused on funding projects to develop explicit and measurable biological objectives for populations of focal species to guide conservation guide and delivery; apply and refine dynamic population-habitat models and other decision-support tools to enable partners to more effectively manage species at landscape scales; apply down-scaled climate models and landscape scales to predict effects on fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats; design and evaluate short and long term wildlife adaptation approaches to help conserve populations at landscape scales; identify and/or design protocols and methodologies found best suited to monitoring and inventorying species, habitats, and ecological functions and structures at landscape scales.

Fiscal Year 2012: (anticipated): Anticipated funding opportunities will be focused on funding projects related to: species risk and vulnerability assessments; inventory and monitoring; population and habitat assessments; biological planning and conservation design; management evaluation and research; and conservation genetics.


Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

The list of contacts for each LCC can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/science/shc/lccinfocontacts.html.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories




Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2010: 104 projects funded. Major program accomplishments to highlight include: 1) The Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks (GCPO) LCC and its partners have developed habitat modeling capabilities in its geographic area. Two new working groups, the Alligator Gar Conservation Group and the Louisiana Pearlshell Mussel Group, have begun to model habitat needs for these species, which will characterize their existing habitats, identify potential areas of new or unknown populations, and identify areas with potential for restoring populations. The modeling process will also be used as a template for aquatic habitat models for similar species within the GCPO and other LCCs with similar habitats and species. 2) The Plains and Prairie Pothole (PPP) LCC funded a project to complete the National Wetland Inventory for the Northern Great Plains. The PPP partnered with the State of Montana to complete digital maps of wetlands to cover the LCC s entire geographic area. These wetland maps are essential for efficient conservation planning and delivery. 3) The Plains and Prairie Pothole LCC is funding a project to assess the impacts of wildlife habitat protection and restoration on rural communities in the Prairie Pothole Region. A primary factor contributing to the ongoing decline in rural communities is the lack of economic diversity as increased temperatures and reduced water availability may significantly impact traditional agricultural crop production. This project will analyze the economic significance of agricultural tillage operations and wildlife habitat activities to local communities. Fiscal Year 2011: (anticipated): Anticipated 120 projects will be funded to develop explicit and measurable biological objectives for populations of focal species to guide conservation guide and delivery; apply and refine dynamic population-habitat models and other decision-support tools to enable partners to more effectively manage species at landscape scales; apply down-scaled climate models and landscape scales to predict effects on fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats; design and evaluate short and long term wildlife adaptation approaches to help conserve populations at landscape scales; identify and/or design protocols and methodologies found best suited to monitoring and inventorying species, habitats, and ecological functions and structures at landscape scales.

The information from these projects will provide LCCs fundamental science capacity to: 1) drive landscape-scale planning; 2) produce biological assessments (plans) and conservation designs that incorporate specific strategies and actions that will help fish, wildlife and plants adapt to changing habitats; and 3) position member organizations of LCCs and other conservation organizations to act decisively and confidently to implement those strategies on-the-ground in ways that help fish, wildlife and plants survive in a changing world. Fiscal Year 2012: (anticipated): Anticipated 150 projects will be funded and focused on: species risk and vulnerability assessments; inventory and monitoring; population and habitat assessments; biological planning and conservation design; management evaluation and research; and conservation genetics.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Support will be provided for LCC-prioritized biological planning, conservation design and adaptive management projects to include: research; inventory design and implementation; monitoring; goal and priority setting associated with efficient and effective conservation; and development of implementation strategies; and projects supporting all other LCC organizational efforts, including planning, establishment, maintenance, and general business operations.

This program is administered in compliance with the Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act of 1977, as amended.

These funds may not be used towards training U. S. Federal Government personnel.

For further information, please contact the regional office.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

None.

Beneficiary Eligibility

None.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Title 43, Part 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations applies to this program. Funding opportunity announcements and complete application instructions are posted online at Grants.gov at http://www.grants.gov. All applicants must submit a complete, signed Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance.

Award Procedures

Each LCC has a steering committee, comprised of representatives from partner organizations, and participates in identifying priority needs for the LCC. Applications for funding will be reviewed and approved by FWS staff based on the project-specific review criteria to be detailed in the funding opportunity posting. FWS staff will notify applicants of review results by either issuing a fully executed Award either electronically or through the mail, or by sending written notification to the applicant that the application will not be funded.

Per the Department of the Interior s Standard Award Terms and Conditions (accessible on the Internet at http://www.doi.gov/pam/TermsandConditions.html) acceptance of a Federal Financial award from the Department of the Interior carries with it the responsibility to be aware of and comply with the terms and conditions of the award. Acceptance is defined as the start of work, drawing down funds, or accepting the award via electronic means. Awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by DOl and are subject to the terms and conditions incorporated either directly or by reference to the following: Program legislation/regulation, Assurances, Special Conditions and Code of Federal Regulations and other Regulatory Requirements, as applicable.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-57).; The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a-742j, not including 742 d-1; Stat. 1119), as amended; Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884); Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 2901-2911; 94 Stat. 1322).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Typically within 180 days of proposal receipt.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

None. However; at the request of the recipient and as approved by USFWS, active awards may be amended (e.g., time extensions or budget changes).

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. However, to the extent possible, recipient in-kind and/or cash match is encouraged.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Project period of performance may be up to five years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed to recipients as requested and in accordance with the payment methods prescribed in 43 CFR Part 12, or as otherwise prescribed in program-specific legislation.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Performance reports are to be submitted in accordance with the specific reporting requirements as detailed in the Award document.

At a minimum, a performance report will be required annually, within 30 calendar days after the annual anniversary date.

Final performance reports are required within 90 calendar days from the end date of the award.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

SF-425, Federal Financial Reports are to be submitted in accordance with the specific reporting requirements as detailed in the Award document.

At a minimum, a financial report will be required annually, within 30 calendar days after the annual anniversary date.

Final SF-425, Federal Financial Reports are required within 90 calendar days from the end date of the award.

Recipients are responsible for monitoring and reporting performance of each award and sub-award under this program in accordance with 43 CFR Part 12 and 2 CFR Part 170.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Recipients are to maintain records in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments" and 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart F, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations", as applicable. Cost records must be maintained separately for each grant. Records, accounts, and supporting documents must be retained for three years after submission of the final reports.

Financial Information

Account Identification

14-1611-0-1-302.

Obigations

(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 10 $7,469,274; FY 11 $10,100,000; FY 12 $12,892,884

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range is $1,000 - $1,000,000. Average award amount varies by project type and duration.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Per http://www.doi.gov/parnlTermsandConditions.htrnl, acceptance of a Federal
Financial award from the Department of the Interior carries with it the responsibility to be aware of and comply with the terms and conditions of the award. Acceptance is defined as starting work, drawing down funds, or accepting the award via electronic means. Awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by the Department of the Interior and are subject to the terms and conditions incorporated in to the Award either directly or by reference to the following: Program legislation/regulation, assurances, special conditions, the Code of Federal Regulations, and other regulatory requirements, as applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. The list of contacts for each LCC can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/science/shc/lccinfocontacts.html.

Headquarters Office

Doug Austen U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N Fairfax Dr, Room 222 , Arlington, Virginia 22203 Email: doug_austen@fws.gov Phone: 703-358-1953

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposed projects will be selected on the basis of how well they meet the program and/or project-specific criteria detailed in individual Landscape Conservation Cooperative funding opportunity postings. Criteria will vary depending on the scope of the program or project for which applications are being accepted.



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