NRCS Colorado Conservation Innovation Grants

Colorado Conservation Innovation Grant Program (CIG) – 2013

Colorado CIG pre-proposals are to be submitted to the Denver (Lakewood), CO, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Office by 4:00 PM, Friday, April 19, 2013.

The Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. These projects may be watershed-based, regional, or statewide in scope. State, tribal, and local governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, and individuals may apply. Selection will be based on the criteria established in this notice and selected applicants may receive grants of up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Applicants must provide non-Federal funding for at least 50 percent of the project cost. Up to 50 percent (25 percent of the total project cost) of the applicant's match may be from in-kind contributions. The remainder must be cash.

CIG has two competitions available in fiscal year 2013 -- National and State. The announcement for program funding for the national competition is available below. Each state administering a CIG competition will announce funding availability through separate announcement.

National CIG Competition

For fiscal year 2013, NRCS is offering two CIG funding opportunities. The first one focuses in the following areas: Program Outreach Nutrient Management, Energy Conservation, Soil Health, Wildlife, Economics, Co-Management for Food Safety and CIG Projects Assessment. The deadline to submit pre-proposal applications is March 22, 2013.

Follow the link to obtain information and application assistance on the National CIG Competition: 2013 NRCS nationally-administered CIG grant program.

Colorado CIG Competition

The CIG final rule describes the state component of CIG. The Request for Proposals (RFP) for fiscal year 2013 CIG program announcement is available from this website at the links below. The announcement describes Colorado state CIG program requirements and application process. The intent of the state component is to provide flexibility to NRCS State Conservationists to target CIG funds to individual producers and smaller organizations that may possess promising innovations, but may not compete well on the larger scale of the national grants competition.

Each year, NRCS determines specific emphasis areas for State CIG Project Projects.  The following are the emphasis areas for FY 2013 Projects in Colorado:

  • Water Quality – Demonstrate treatment effectiveness and efficiency of removing or reducing selenium and other contaminants in runoff or drainage water using innovative practices.
  • Air Quality – Demonstrate and quantify the optimal combinations of nutrient source, application rate, placement, and application timing to help reduce nutrient deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park area.
  • Air Quality - Identify barriers to the adoption and implementation of core nutrient reduction practices (avoiding, controlling, and trapping), including nutrient management, and demonstrate solutions and approaches to the barriers. Demonstrate methods to increase adoption of nutrient reduction practices with traditionally low or non-participating producers in high risk areas.
  • Soil Health - Development of optimal species mixes, seeding rates and seeding methods to enhance cover crop establishment/survival and increase soil organic matter.
  • Soil Health - Demonstrate and quantify the impacts of cover crop presence, species mix, and management (e.g. termination growth stage, tillage practice) on soil water content and subsequent crop yield across a range of climates and cropping systems.

Check out the National CIG site’s “For Applicants” with helpful links, such as Grant Regulations,  FAQs, application forms, and links for establishing DUNS and SAM numbers required for grant administration.

While the National NRCS site is designed around the national initiative, the FAQs, rules and regulations, etc. pertain the Colorado’s state CIG Program as well.

Colorado 2013 CIG Announcement

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Colorado FY 2013 CIG Program Announcement

Colorado 2013 CIG Forms and Information


Michael Brady, Program Manager
Phone: 720-544-2813