May 9, 2022
The Association was excited by last week’s announcement of a $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge from the Biden-Harris Administration. This grant program will provide support for locally led ecosystem restoration projects that invest in watershed restoration, resilience, equitable access, workforce development, corridors and connectivity, and collaborative conservation, consistent with the America the Beautiful Initiative.
“This Challenge will provide much needed funding for on-the-ground conservation work, in partnership with our state, Tribal, NGO and private working land partners,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This new grant program, which brings a variety of partners to the table, is the definition of true collaboration to protect, restore, and enhance our precious natural resources.”
The America the Beautiful Challenge is a new public-private grant program, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, that will fund conservation projects that focus on at least one of the following core areas of need: (1) Conserving and restoring rivers, coasts, wetlands, and watersheds, (2) Conserving and restoring forests, grasslands, and other important ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks, (3) Connecting and reconnecting wildlife corridors, large landscapes, watersheds, and seascapes, (4) Improving ecosystem and community resilience to coastal flooding, drought, and other climate-related threats, and (5) Expanding access to the outdoors, particularly in underserved communities.
A request for proposals is currently open, with full proposals due by July 21, 2022 and the first round of awards expected in November 2022. This new program is intended to streamline and centralize the grant application process making it easier for states, tribes, territories, local governments, non-governmental conservation organizations, and others to use one application to potentially access multiple funding sources.
For more information, visit the America the Beautiful Challenge website: https://www.nfwf.org/programs/america-beautiful-challenge
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.