Community Capacity and Land Stewardship Program: Southeast Alaska (Tongass National Forest)

National Forest Foundation (NFF)

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Grant amount: Up to US $24,000

Anticipated deadline: Dec 3, 2020 10:59pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in Alaska: Haines Borough, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Juneau City and Borough, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Overview and Goals

As part of a broader economic diversification strategy for Southeast Alaska communities, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies are collaborating with business leaders, state and federal agencies, and other partners to support sustainable job growth and healthy communities. Strengthening the capacity of rural communities to respond to new economic opportunities and be responsible stewards of their rich natural resources is essential to achieving these goals. 

As one component of the economic diversification strategy, the Alaska Region (R10) of the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and the NFF launched a program to support collaborative natural resource management, benefitting the watersheds of the Tongass National Forest. This Community Capacity and Land Stewardship (CCLS) grant program supports and builds the capacity of organizations that help build sustainable economic opportunities in local communities through natural resource management and watershed restoration.

The NFF offers this program with the financial support of the USFS. It provides one-year grants of up to $24,000 to enable organizations and collaborative groups to build their capacity to convene, plan, and monitor watershed and landscape projects. Additionally, the program strives to help organizations build internal and community capacity to meet objectives associated with the creation of jobs that contribute to the economic sustainability of communities. This year, there is additional emphasis on projects that support the transition to young growth-based forest management. Work may take place off the Tongass National Forest, but there must be a clear benefit to its watersheds. Organizations are not required to match CCLS Program award funds, but are encouraged to leverage additional private and local, state, or governmental resources to illustrate broad support for the project.

Use of Funds

Recipients may use grant funds for the following categories of work: 

  • Outreach and plan development that supports a collaborative group and improves on-the-ground effectiveness;
  • Workshops and training related to facilitation, contracting, and other topics that will assist groups in building their capacity to meet the program goals; 
  • Dissemination of best practices and tools to assist community-based nonprofit organizations and collaborative groups in project development, implementation, and monitoring; 
  • Organizational and staff support, including facilitation, technical assistance, networking, and peer-to-peer evaluations leading to shared learning; 
  • Travel related to collaborative group activities; and
  • Development of action plans, project strategic documents, or other similar documents as a result of or necessary for collaborative processes. 

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


  • Applications will be considered from 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; regional, state or local governmental entities; colleges and universities; and federally-recognized Native American tribes implementing activities that lead to forest or watershed enhancement activities benefiting the Tongass National Forest.
    • Organizations that are not a federally recognized tribe or tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code must utilize a fiscal sponsor with that status.
  • All awarded grants must support the protection, restoration, or enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat and other resources on public or private land, or reduce the risk of natural disaster upon these resources when public safety is threatened.
  • All CCLS applications must include a letter of support from the Forest Supervisor of each National Forest or Grassland unit included in a proposal.


  • Funding from grants cannot fund USDA agency personnel or resources or be directed to any other federal entity. 
  • Ineligible applicants include:
    • Federal agencies;
    • For-profit organizations;
    • Consultants;
    • Educational and research organizations proposing work that does not advance watershed or landscape-scale improvement; 
    • Organizations seeking funding for litigation or advocacy; 
    • Organizations seeking general operating or programmatic support unrelated to the scope of this program; or 
    • Organizations considering submitting a proposal for work that cannot be completed within one year of award
  • CCLS funding is not for on-the-ground implementation.
  • These funds cannot fund the personnel or resources of any federal entity.
  • Award recipients cannot use funding from CCLS grants to lobby or influence any federal, state, or local legislative body or any federal, state, or local legislative proposal.