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Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Last Modified: 12/11/2013

Conservation Innovation Grants (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. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. CIG enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the Nation's most pressing natural resource concerns. CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with Federal, State, and local regulations. NRCS administers CIG.

Conservation Innovation Grant Opportunities within Oklahoma - **NEW**

Due to current reductions in funding levels Oklahoma will not offer a CIG State component in FY 2014.

The State level CIG program provides opportunities for producers and organizations that might not compete effectively at the National level. NRCS will use these competitive grants to seek creative solutions to assist producers with emerging and traditional agricultural and natural resource issues. These emerging issues include energy conservation, specialty crops, and new methods of tackling climate change. The grants also will fund solutions to improve water, soil and air quality, improve nutrient management, and enhance wildlife habitat.

The State level CIG program provides competitive grants to federally-recognized Indian tribes, state and local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals. CIG funds one-to-three year projects that target innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. The maximum federal contribution for each project is $75,000 at the state level.  The $150,000 in State level CIG funding will be used to address six subcategories:

1.    Nutrient Management

2.    Energy Conservation

3.    Soil Health

4.    Productivity and Environmental Health of grazingland

5.    Wildlife

6.    Priority Landscapes

The following document requires Acrobat Reader
Oklahoma CIG FY-2012 Announcement for Program Funding (PDF; 67KB)

Additional Information and Links

The national NRCS CIG website has additional program information, fact sheets, forms, and links for the CIG application process. This site also provides information on all previously funded projects by the year in which they received funding.

Key Provisions

Each fiscal year, funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process from all eligible non-federal government or nongovernment organizations or individuals, including federally recognized tribes. CIG competitions will emphasize projects that have a goal of providing benefits over a large geographic area. These projects may be watershed-based, regional, multi-State, or nationwide in scope. Applications should describe the use of innovative technologies or approaches, or both, to address a natural resource conservation concern or concerns. The natural resource concerns eligible for funding through CIG will be identified in the funding announcement, and may change annually. Applications are evaluated by a technical peer review panel and scored against criteria identified in the funding notice. Scored and ranked applications will be forwarded to an NRCS Grant Review Board. The Grant Review Board will make recommendations for project approval to the NRCS Chief. Final selections will be made by the Chief. Awards will be made through a grant agreement. At least 50 percent of the total cost of the project must come from non-Federal matching funds (cash and in-kind contributions) provided by the grantee. The grantee also is responsible for providing the technical assistance required to successfully complete the project. NRCS will provide technical oversight for each project receiving an award.

CIG is not a research program. Instead, it is a vehicle to stimulate the adoption of conservation approaches or technologies that have been studied sufficiently to indicate a likelihood of success, and are likely candidates for eventual technology transfer. CIG will fund projects targeting innovative on-the ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. Technologies and approaches that are commonly used in the geographic area covered by the application, and which are eligible for funding through EQIP, are not eligible for funding through CIG. Proposed projects must conform to the description of innovative conservation projects or activities published in the funding notice.

Eligibility

CIG applications will be accepted from State or local units of government, Federally recognized Tribes, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. Applications will be accepted from all 50 States, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Basin Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). Proposed projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers. Funding for CIG is made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). All proposed CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers. CIG funds that are used to provide direct or indirect payments to individuals or entities to implement structural, vegetative or management practices are subject to the EQIP payment limitation.

Contact

Kenneth Hitch
State Programs Specialist
Phone: 405-742-1208
Email: kenneth.hitch@ok.usda.gov