Natural Resource Stewardship

As a steward of the Nation"s natural and cultural heritage, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to preserve and protect park resources and values.

The NPS actively manages and conducts research on natural resources in the national park system to meet its statutory responsibility to preserve

these resources unimpaired for future generations.

The Natural Resource Stewardship program is the principle means through which the NPS evaluates and improves the health of watersheds, landscapes, and marine and coastal resources, sustains biological communities on the lands and waters in parks, and actively endeavors to improve the resiliency of these natural resources and adapt them to the effects of climate change.

The National Park Service (NPS) conducts natural resource stewardship largely at the park level, utilizing park personnel and contractor or cooperative support.

To carry out and further this stewardship responsibility, the Service implements programs that encompass a broad range of research, operational, and educational activities.

The NPS inventories, evaluates, documents, preserves, protects, monitors, maintains, and interprets the natural resources at 392 park units, 21 trails and 58 wild and scenic rivers.

NPS stewardship helps to perpetuate resources and allows for their continued appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment.

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.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds used for all aspects of natural resource (air, water, geological, biological) stewardship activities, including but not limited to resource inventories and monitoring, restoration projects, wildlife and plant management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Secretary of Interior must determine that appropriations for the purpose of cooperative management of projects are available and an agreement is in the best interests of the United States.

Funds may not be used for acquisition of real property.

Contact the Headquarters Office for more information.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant entity must have expertise in the contemplated resource management and/or research project.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State and local governments, Federal recognized Indian Tribal governments, public/private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit institutions of higher education, and individuals.


All organizations will be required to comply with the requirements provided in the specific Funding Opportunity Announcement and award document. If applying as a nonprofit organization, proof of nonprofit status will be required. Examples of prior work in technical areas related to management and research in natural areas is required. Each organization submitting an application will be required to follow the registration requirements including registration in the DUNS and CCR systems. The procedures are provided at OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination will be specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, if applicable.

Environmental impact assessment or statement may be required for projects within this program.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Application packages will be posted for an Eligible Applicant"s response utilizing the website. Upon receipt of timely submissions, applications will be reviewed by the NPS and may be circulated for others to review. Notification of Awards will be provided to applicants by issuance of a Cooperative Agreement by the Awarding Official within the time specified on the announcement. The standard application forms required by 43 CFR Part 12, Subparts C and F, must be used. Application packages will be made available on

Award Procedures

Timely submissions will be reviewed in relationship to the evaluation criteria specified in the opportunity announcement. Awards will be made in the form of a cooperative agreement.


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


Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, Title III Section 301, Public Law 110-229, 122 Stat. 754-876; Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 Public Law 104-208, Stat. 3009-181; Cooperative Agreements, 16 U.S.C. 1g: Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996, Public Law 104-333; Challenge Cost Share 16 U.S.C. 1f; Research and Training 16 U.S.C. 1a-2j; Cooperative Ecosystem Study Units 16 U.S.C. 5933.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 60 days.


Not Applicable.


Recipients may request renewal of existing projects or additional projects to meet program goals and objectives. NPS will make awards based on mission needs and priorities. Renewals are contingent upon available appropriations to the program.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Recipients share some project or program costs. The cost-sharing arrangements are developed between NPS and the recipients in advance of the program unless otherwise stated by Congress.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance is provided on a project basis. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are released on a reimbursable basis as costs are incurred.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program reports are not applicable.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress Reports are required at a minimum annually and final progress reports.

Specific requirements are indicated in the award documents and may vary for given programs.

The SF 425 Federal Financial Report is required.

Both interim and final reports are required as described in the award documents.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


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.


Recipients will maintain records in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12 and all other requirements specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement and Cooperative Agreement.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 10 Not Available; FY 11 $5,000,000; FY 12 Estimate Not Available - In FY 2010 the program wasl established so no obligations are available to report. FY11 first year the CFDA number used. FY 2012 obligation estimate is $3,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$2,000 to $200,000; Average $30,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Department of the Interior regulations regarding financial assistance is 43 CFR Part 12.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Gary Mason, National Park Service, Natural Resources Science and Stewardship, 1201 Eye Street, Washington, District of Columbia 20006 Email: Phone: (202) 513-7204.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Specific criteria will be developed based on the objectives of individual projects and will be provided in Funding Opportunity Announcements. Generally, relevance to agency program mission and qualification of principle investigator and institution will be important to the acceptance of proposals.

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