USDA Supporting Underserved and Small-Acreage Forest Landowner Participation in Emerging Private Markets
This notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is the first in an anticipated series of Forest Landowner Support NOFOs. This NOFA encompasses cost share and payment incentives for forestry practices and support the participation of underserved landowners and small-acreage landowners (owning less than 2,500 acres) in emerging private markets for climate mitigation or forest resilience.
This NOFO solicits proposals for two Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provisions. These provisions provide the USDA Forest Service with funding to:
- Support the participation of underserved forest landowners in emerging private markets for climate mitigation or forest resilience
- Support the participation of forest landowners who own less than 2,500 acres of forest land in emerging private markets for climate mitigation or forest resilience
Proposals are expected from a diversity of applicants including national, regional, local, and community-based organizations. Organizations representing underserved landowners and first-time applicants for federal funds are encouraged to apply. Multiple deadlines (or “Tracks”) are available to encourage involvement from a wide variety of applicants and to capture learning for future program development. Tracks are defined by the overall proposal budget size.
Track A: Proposal budgets greater than or equal to $2 million and less than $25 million
Track B: Proposal budgets that are less than $2 million
Track C: Proposals to administer a national competitive regranting program may also be considered. Budgets must be greater than or equal to $5 million, less than $50 million, and include at least 80% sub-awards.
There is no match requirement for proposals to be funded through this NOFO. However, while a match is not mandated, it is encouraged.
The following entities are eligible to submit a project proposal through Tracks A and B:
- U.S. State Governments
- U.S. Local Governments
- Tribal Governments
- Alaska Native Corporations/Villages
- Other Tribal Entities
- Education Institutions
- Non-Profit Entities
- For-Profit Entities
The following entities are eligible to submit a project proposal through Track C:
- Nonprofit organizations with a mission focused on sustainable forestry and/or forest conservation. Applicants must have demonstrated success in managing competitive subgrant programs that are regional or national in scope.
FUNDING AVAILABLE AND APPLICATION WINDOW:
FUNDING AVAILABILITY: $150 million for Track A and Track B. Applying entities may submit up to three unique proposals under Track A and/or B for a maximum combined total of $25 million. Entities that have subsidiaries and affiliates will be treated as one applicant for the purposes of calculating the $25 million cap on requests. Track C is not included in the $25 million cap in the total amount requested.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Three “Tracks” with distinct deadlines are offered to encourage participation by applicants who have a breadth of experience, expertise, and geographic scale. Tracks are defined by the overall proposed budget. Each proposal must clearly identify ONE Track:
- Track A: Proposal budgets greater than or equal to $2 million and less than $25 million are due by October 21, 2023.
- Track B: Proposal budgets of less than $2 million will be considered for funding on a quarterly basis
Track C: Proposals to administer a national competitive regranting program may also be considered. Budgets must be greater than or equal to $5 million, less than $50 million, and include at least 80% sub-awards. Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis and reviewed at least quarterly. NOTE: These programs will include substantive involvement by the USDA Forest Service and be best suited for cooperative agreements rather than grants.