Endangered Species Act Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance & Land Acquisition Grant Program (Nontraditional Section 6)

California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $2,000,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 15, 2019

Applicant type: Government Entity Indigenous Group College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: California

Location of residency: California

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) administers grant programs through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) and authorized through Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Nontraditional Grant Programs

Funding for the HCP Land Acquisition and Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance programs is awarded based on a national competition. The Service awarded approximately $44.8 million in fiscal year 2016 funding to Nontraditional Program projects through the CESCF. Of that amount, approximately $5.8 million was awarded through the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance program to fully and partially fund 7 out of 8 eligible proposals from 8 States. Approximately $22 million fully funded 11 out of 11 eligible proposals through the HCP Land Acquisition program.

The Service will make award selections for the competitive programs based upon the proposals submitted for consideration through this announcement. The range of grant awards has been between $1,000 and $24,000,000, but varies greatly by program. This year we are maintaining the $2 million cap on HCP Land Acquisition grants and the $1 million cap on Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance grants. The Service anticipates making award announcements for the fiscal year 2017 grant programs in fiscal year 2017 following final budget appropriations. 

The Nontraditional Section 6 grants available are:

Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Program

The Endangered Species Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance (HCPA) Grant Program provides funding to States and Territories for tasks necessary in the planning phase of an HCP, such as baseline surveys and inventories, preparation of planning and environmental documents, and outreach.

Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Program 

The Endangered Species Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition (HCPLA) Grant Program provides funding to States and Territories for the acquisition of threatened and endangered species habitat in support of approved HCPs. Grants do not fund any mitigation required of an HCP permittee, but are instead intended to support land purchases that complement actions associated with the HCP.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Individuals or groups (for example land conservancies, cities, counties, community organizations, or conservation organizations) may work with a State agency that has a cooperative agreement on conservation efforts that are mutually beneficial, as a subgrantee.
  • The assistance provided to the State agency can include (but is not limited to):
    • animal, plant, and habitat surveys
    • research; planning; monitoring
    • habitat protection, restoration, management, and acquisition
    • and public education 
  • Eligibility Requirements for all Grant Categories
    • A proposal must include at least 25% non-Federal cost share.
      • This is 25% of the total project cost, not 25% of the federal grant amount
    • The project must involve voluntary conservation efforts.
    • Only one proposal per NCCP/HCP may be submitted. 
    • Proposals can include actions that complement mitigation actions, but only those actions beyond existing regulatory requirements are eligible for funding


  • A proposal cannot include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) costs.
  • Funding will not be granted for projects that serve to satisfy regulatory requirements, including:
    • complying with a biological opinion (ESA Sec 6)
    • fulfilling commitments of a Habitat Conservation Plan (ESA Sec 10)
    • mitigating for permits, or
    • satisfying other regulatory requirements.