SNC Proposition 1 Grant Program

State of California: Sierra Nevada Conservancy

Grant amount: Up to US $500,000

Next anticipated deadline: Sep 1, 2018 (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Nov 1, 2018 5:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in California: Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, El Dorado County Expand all

Location of residency: United States

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The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) is a California state agency that initiates, encourages, and supports efforts that improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region, its communities, and the citizens of California.

The Laird-Leslie Sierra Nevada Conservancy Act (Act), enacted in 2004, and commencing with Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 33300, established the SNC; Sections 33343 and 33346 set forth the authority for SNC to award grants of funds in order to carry out the purposes of the Act. The SNC adopted its Strategic Plan in accordance with the Act.

Forested watersheds of the Sierra Nevada Region provide more than sixty percent of California’s developed water supply and are the primary source of fresh water flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. These forests filter water, store snowpack, and slow runoff from winter storms, producing the high-quality and reliable water supply that Californians depend on. However, many forests in the Sierra Nevada are unhealthy and at risk for disease and uncharacteristically large wildfires. Read more here.

Proposition 1 Competitive Grant Program

California voters passed Proposition 1, The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Bond Act of 2014, on November 4, 2014. Proposition 1 added Section79731 to the California Water Code (CWC), authorizing the state to issue bonds, and the Legislature to appropriate the proceeds, for multibenefit water quality, water supply, and watershed protection and restoration projects for the watersheds of the state. Section 79731 (i) of the CWC allocates $25 million of these funds for SNC. The SNC anticipates awarding up to $10 million in this grant round.

The SNC will focus this grant program on forest health projects that result in multiple watershed benefits, consistent with the following purposes identified in Proposition 1:

  • Implement fuel treatment projects to reduce wildfire risks, protect watersheds tributary to water storage facilities, and promote watershed health.
  • Protect and restore rural and urban watershed health to improve watershed storage capacity, forest health, protection of life and property, and greenhouse gas reduction.
  • Implement watershed adaptation projects in order to reduce the impacts of climate changes on California’s communities and ecosystems.

Forest And Watershed Health Projects

Sierra forests are the source of most of California’s water. Projects reduce the risk of large damaging wildfires that threaten communities, water reliability, and quality for Californians, and at the same time, create much needed jobs. The health of the watershed is directly linked to the quality and amount of water that flows through the Region and downstream. Much of the water that flows through the Delta originates in the Sierra Nevada; the Delta, as well as other important water systems in the state, depends on the quantity, quality, and timing of water from the Sierra. See Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program Fact Sheet.

Grant Categories

  • Category 1 grants include site improvement, restoration, and fee title acquisition projects that support forest products manufacturing and/or biomass utilization facilities that increase capacity to improve forest and watershed health. 
    • Examples of potential Category 1 grant projects can be found on here.
    • Grants are up to $500,000.
  • Category 2 grants are limited to pre-project activities that are necessary for a specific future on-the-ground project that meets the requirements in these Guidelines for Category 1 projects. 
    • Examples of Category 2 grant projects can be found on here
    • Grants are up to $75,000.
    • Funds available for Category 2 grants will be limited to 10 percent of the total amount allocated to the SNC in Proposition 1.  

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


  • Grant funds may be authorized for:
    • Public agencies (any city, county, special district, joint powers authority, state agency).
    • Qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations:
      • “Nonprofit Organization" means a private, nonprofit organization that qualifies for exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code, and whose charitable purposes are consistent with the purposes of the SNC.
    • Eligible Tribal Organizations: (includes any Indian Tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, or a tribal agency authorized by a tribe, which is recognized as eligible for special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians and is identified on pages 47868 to 47872, inclusive, of Number 155 of Volume 77 (August 10, 2012) of the Federal Register, as that list may be updated or amended from time to time).
  • In order to be eligible to receive a grant award from the SNC under this program, projects must meet all of the following criteria:
    • Be located within a conifer or mixed-conifer forested area of the Sierra Nevada Region, or have a direct impact on forest lands and waters within the Region.
    • Be consistent with the SNC mission and program areas as defined in the SNC Strategic Plan and the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP) as they relate to forest health.
    • Meet the requirements of Proposition 1 in regard to forest and watershed health.
  • Eligible Costs:
    • Direct Project Costs: Only project costs for items within the scope of the project, within the time frame of the project agreement, and supported by appropriate documentation, are eligible for payment.
      • Costs related to project-specific performance measures, reporting, and required signage must be addressed in the project budget.
    • Administrative Expenses: Administrative expenses may not exceed 15 percent of the SNC-funded direct project costs.
      • If awarded, applicants will be required to submit an indirect cost allocation plan. Detailed information about how to prepare a cost allocation plan is available on the SNC website. 


  • Category 1 projects will be given preference. (See Overview)


  • Please note that federal agencies are not eligible to receive Proposition 1 grants per the definition of eligible entities.
  • SNC’s governing statute does not allow grants to mutual water companies or to state Indian tribes on the Native American Heritage Commission’s California Tribal Consultation List (entities otherwise eligible under Proposition 1), unless the state Indian tribes also meet the Eligible Tribal Organizations criteria listed above. 
  • Examples of ineligible projects include:
    • Grants to service or repay loans
    • Projects dictated by a legal settlement or mandated to address a violation of, or an order (citation) to comply with, a law or regulation
    • Operations and maintenance of existing structures, including roads
    • Education, outreach, or event-related projects, although these types of activities may be included as a small part of the overall implementation of a project eligible for SNC grant funds
    • This list is not exhaustive and is offered only as guidance to potential applicants. The SNC will make determinations of eligibility on a project-by-project basis. 
  • Ineligible Costs: Examples of ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:
    • Establishing or increasing a legal defense fund or endowment
    • Making a monetary donation to other organizations
    • Paying for food or refreshments
    • Unsubstantiated administrative costs