Approximately $200,000 in funding is available through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies within Arkansas.
State, tribal, and local governmental entities; non-governmental organizations; and individuals may apply. Project proposals should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern. Project results are expected to improve and create the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals or guides or to the private sector.
CIG is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology. It does not fund research projects. CIG is an effort to address some of the state's most pressing natural resource conservation needs. CIG is a component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
For FY 2012, Arkansas NRCS will consider offering CIG funding in the following areas: nutrient management, integrated pest management, conservation technology transfer and energy conservation. Applications should be for single or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years.
Selected applicants may receive grants up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Individual grant awards may not exceed $75,000 in FY 2012. Applicants must provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50 percent of the project cost. Of the non-federal matching funds, a minimum of 25 percent must be from cash contributions; the remaining 25 percent may come from in-kind contribution. Projects may be single or multi-year, not to exceed three years.
Funds will be awarded through a two-phase statewide competitive grants process that will include a pre-proposal process and full proposal process. Only pre-proposals are being solicited at this time. The full proposal process will only be open to applicants whose pre-proposal applications are selected by NRCS. Applications for the pre-proposal phase must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 5 p.m. (CDT) on Mar. 6. In addition, one original and three copies must be received in the Arkansas NRCS state office.
Applicants may send or hand-deliver hard copies to: USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service; Conservation Innovations Grants Program; Attn: Holly Anderson; Room 3416 Federal Building; 700 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201. Copies must be received by 5 p.m. (CDT) on Mar. 6.
Pre-proposal applications selected will be announced by Mar. 21. Selected applicants will then be required to submit a full proposal package to the Arkansas NRCS state office by 5 pm. (CDT) on April 20.