Thursday, January 19, 2017

Heads up - - WI DNR delaying, 'streamlining' Stewardship Fund process

You hear delay, new criteria and 'streamlining' from this iteration of the DNR, and you remember that Walker tried to suspend the popular, bi-partisan Stewardship Fund for a generation - - and more cuts to the program have been signaled - -  and you can't be optimistic about this email the DNR just released:

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant Program Announcements

Upcoming application deadlines:

The application due date for Fiscal Year 2018 Nonprofit Conservation Organization (NCO) grants will be sometime in March or April 2017.  The typical February 1 application deadline has been changed due to application material revisions.   When an application deadline has been established, we will announce the date via email and post application information and material on the Stewardship NCO Grant web pageLocal Assistance grant programs anticipate the typical May 1 application deadline for Fiscal Year 2018. 

Project ranking criteria revisions:

DNR is in the process of reviewing and updating grant project ranking criteria for all Local Assistance and NCO grant subprograms.   Those criteria have not been reviewed or revised since 2011.  The goals of this review are to:
  • Streamline the ranking process for both applicants and grant staff
  • Revise confusing and/or subjective ranking questions
  • Add to evaluation of land acquisition projects a consideration of agricultural resources on potential grant lands
Proposed revisions will be posted on the DNR’s program guidance page for public inputbefore they are finalized.  The Department anticipates posting revisions for comment late this month. 

 Soliciting nominations for Advisory Council members:

The Stewardship Advisory Council, a group created to advise the Secretary on grant program issues, has vacant seats.   The Council meets approximately three times/year. DNR is seeking nominations from: 
  • An organization representing interests of local governments or parks programs statewide
  • A local land trust representing a service area outside of southeastern WI
  • A sporting organization
Nominations are due to the DNR by the end of January. More information about the council and nomination information can be found on the Advisory Council web page.

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