The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing availability
of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications are accepted from all 50 States. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2010 will be approximately $25 million. Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between 1 and 3 years in duration.
Funds will be awarded through a two-phase nationwide competitive grants process which will include a pre-proposal for all applications, and a full application package only for competitively selected pre-proposal applicants, pursuant to notification by NRCS.
Innovative Conservation Projects or Activities
For the purposes of CIG, the proposed innovative project or activity must encompass the development, field testing, evaluation, implementation, and monitoring of:
• Conservation adoption approaches or incentive systems, including market-based systems;
• Promising conservation technologies, practices, systems, procedures, or approaches; and
• Environmental soundness with goals of environmental protection and natural resource enhancement.
To be given priority consideration, the innovative project or activity:
• Makes use of a proven technology or a technology that has been studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success;
• Demonstrates and verifies environmental (soil, water, air, plants, energy use, and animal) effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of conservation technology in the field;
• Adapts conservation technologies, practices, systems, procedures, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption;
• Introduces conservation systems, approaches, and procedures from another geographic area or agricultural sector; and
• Adapts conservation technology, management, or incentive systems to improve performance.
Pre-proposals must be received at the NRCS National Headquarters by 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on April 26, 2010.
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