The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an Agency of the Department of Agriculture, works with private landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
NRCS's natural resources conservation programs help land owners reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters.
In the Lake Tahoe Basin, which spans portions of two counties in California and two counties and one rural area in Nevada, a major resource concern is water quality and the alarming decline in the clarity of Lake Tahoe.
Experts estimate that approximately 72% the fine sediment that enters the Lake originates from urban area runoff.Single-family residential parcels that have been hardened by impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, and rooftops contribute sediment and nutrients to Lake Tahoe at an accelerated rate, impairing water quality.
Local regulations require that all existing single-family residential properties will be retrofitted with Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to infiltrate runoff from a 20 year (1 inch per hour) storm event, on-site.
BMPs may include paving driveways and parking pads, infiltration trenches and dry wells, adequate vegetation cover and stabilized slopes.
Applicants will be responsible for working in conjunction with NRCS to provide technical assistance through the Community Watershed Partnership program as described in the statement of work.NRCS expects to award one cooperative agreement (one in California and one in Nevada) based on proposals submitted and benefits derived for the current fiscal year.
The funding ceiling available for the current fiscal year is:
$175,000 for the Nevada side of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Any agreements resulting from this solicitation will have a one-year base period.
Activities under this cooperative agreement(s) will be carried out from approximately January 30, 2012 through February 28, 201 3. Scope of Work:
The successful applicant will:
1. Complete a minimum of 116 Site Evaluation Plans and 133 unique APN tech assists.While support will target selected watersheds, a minimum of 25% of the project will support basin wide requests for providing assistance for the tasks mentioned above.
Site Evaluation Plans are site specific plans, in compliance with all local and state regulations, to meet the objectives of the Best Management Practice Retrofit Program (BMP) in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Each site plan will be based on activities such as, but not limited to making field visits to perform inventory and evaluation, recording measurements and calculations, analyzing data, prescribing appropriate conservation practices (and alternatives, where feasible), and recording the property owners record of decision.Site Evaluation Plans will follow a standard format as provided by NRCS, be maintained on a computer database, be made available to NRCS electronically, and the electronic version will be compatible with Microsoft Access.
Copies of the Site Evaluation Plans will also be provided to the property owner.
As legal provisions are met, data will be forwarded to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.Site Evaluation format includes the following components:
customer contact information, GIS derived environmental data, technical assistance notes, a Site Map with all pertinent features recorded to analyze storm water runoff from impervious surfaces, a list of recommended treatments, a Site Drawing showing recommended BMP treatments, photos documenting pre-installation of BMP conditions, and calculations used to determine the amount of runoff generated from impervious surfaces.
These calculations are used to size recommended practices for BMP Retrofit.
A letter to the homeowner is also generated, explaining the recommendations and procedures for completing their project.
2. Develop and implement an education and outreach plan, commensurate with the number of stakeholders in the targeted area.The program must be approved by NRCS and may include such things as workshops, media articles and other public events, as well as meeting with individual clients.
3. Collect and analyze information through surveys, personal contact, or other means to assess the needs of the community and provide direction for the program.Community engagement is a vital component of the Community Watershed Program.
The successful applicant will work with the NRCS to host community forums, develop website content, and develop and process community surveys.
The successful applicant will participate in interagency meetings to coordinate delivery of the Community Watershed Partnership program as necessary.
4. Submit quarterly reports of progress tracking progress on all tasks and submit a year-end report documenting accomplishments.
5. Create a report on the accomplishments of the Community Watershed Partnership as well as goals and strategies for conservation of the watershed or community area.
This document will be for public distribution.
All services provided in conservation planning, conservation practice application or verification, and other technical assistance must meet USDA-NRCS standards and specifications as set forth in the NRCS regulations.
(For more information on these regulations see:
www.nrcs.usda.gov) NRCS will be substantially involved in carrying out the work covered by this cooperative agreement.
NRCS will also provide a representative to participate in the planning and management of the cooperative agreement and coordinate activities.
NRCS will provide oversight and as necessary, agency software, forms, and other resource information.Evaluation Criteria Listed in Descending Order of Importance 1. Organizational Capabilities the adequacy of organizational resources and experience to successfully manage and perform the project.
This includes background and experiences of staff that will completes the tasks in a professional manner and reflect a positive image of NRCS.
2. Knowledge of conservation issues in the Lake Tahoe Basin and NRCS practice standards and specifications related to those conservation issues.
3. Ability to work with NRCS and watershed stakeholders on conservation issues.
4. Knowledge of local and State ordinances and regulations related to implementing conservation practices in the Lake Tahoe Basin.Each proposal will be evaluated and ranked in accordance with the evaluation factors listed above.
Discussions may be held with each applicant regarding the applicants experience, the proposed plan of action or alternative courses of action.
After selection, NRCS will enter into negotiations with the selected applicant to discuss cost and the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement to be signed.