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2024 Request for Proposals for Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative – New Mexico and Texas

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)





November 9, 2023



Award Floor:



Match Required?


New Mexico and Texas


Entity Types:

City or township governments, Nonprofits (with 501(c)(3) status)

Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, educational institutions. Ineligible applicants include: international organizations, businesses or unincorporated individuals.




Source Type:


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is announcing the seventh annual funding opportunity as part of the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative.
Donor Name: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
State: New Mexico and Texas
County: Selected Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Deadline: 11/09/2023
Size of the Grant: Up to $3.2 million
Grant Duration: 3 years
NFWF will award grants to restore and sustain healthy rivers, streams and grassland systems that provide important wildlife habitat in the Pecos watershed and adjacent areas of New Mexico and Texas. Major funding is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and five corporate partners: Apache Corporation, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Occidental, and XTO Energy, an ExxonMobil subsidiary.
Grants will be awarded in four categories: Habitat Restoration, Species Intervention, and Species Information and Capacity. Program priorities include implementing habitat restoration strategies and increasing baseline species information for species of interest within specific aquatic and grassland focal areas.
Program Priorities
All proposals must specifically address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the program priorities as identified in the Southwest Rivers Program Business Plan.

Habitat Restoration and Management Grants

Grants will be awarded for projects that improve habitat for one or more of our target species:

Stream and Riparian Habitat Restoration: Create and enhance riparian habitat in focal geographies to benefit target aquatic species listed below. This work may include flexible management prescriptions for upland grazing and restoration of native vegetation. Projects that restore the integrity and complexity of riparian areas to provide important edge habitat and wildlife corridors, protect the quality of freshwater systems, and demonstrate the benefits of aquatic connectivity projects to human communities through improved infrastructure, such as improved stream-road crossings, are encouraged. Projects addressing water availability for riparian habitat will also be considered. Projects should include long-term maintenance strategies for restored areas including invasive species, water availability and grazing management.
Grassland Habitat Restoration and Management: Implement outcome based grassland restoration and grazing management projects that use a range of practices and prescriptions to create, sustain or improve large blocks of high quality Chihuahuan desert grasslands for the focal species listed below. Projects should address habitat quality, connectivity and management for grasslands that provide actual or potential habitat for pronghorn (including fence modification) and migratory grassland bird species. Projects that engage landowners with a range of property sizes and interests are strongly encouraged.
Outreach and Technical Assistance: Improve the management of public and/or private lands that contain habitat or potential habitat for focal species. Projects may execute innovative outreach and marketing strategies to engage target audiences, especially private agricultural landowners and land managers, in adopting practices that enhance habitat conditions. Projects should attempt to leverage NRCS funding and cost-share programs when possible. Technical assistance to facilitate design of habitat restoration and infrastructure projects are also supported.

Species Intervention Grants

Grants will be awarded for projects that secure or establish populations of certain target aquatic species, including Pecos gambusia, Pecos pupfish and Texas hornshell:

Securing existing populations: Implement strategies that protect target species from invasion and/or disease.
Establishing new populations: For target species with limited range that are threatened by invasion, translocate individuals to suitable habitats that will increase redundancy and establish protected populations.

Species Information Grants

This RFP is seeking proposals that fill information gaps on the Rio Grande cooter, a species that inhabits the Pecos watershed but about which not enough is known to prioritize conservation strategies. Competitive proposals will include those that inform future habitat restoration priorities through improved species distribution maps and better understanding of habitat needs and stressors affecting those species.

Species Response Monitoring to Habitat Improvement Strategies

Develop and implement monitoring protocols to measure pronghorn, grassland bird or fish response to habitat restoration and enhancement. Where baseline data is not available, monitoring proposals should establish a baseline measurement. This baseline should then be used to measure change over time as restoration activities are undertaken. Monitoring projects may be paired with other monitoring work that federal and state agencies are performing. Preference will be given to monitoring proposals that include habitat restoration and/or enhancement activities or monitor species response to habitat restoration and/or enhancement work funded through another NFWF Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative project.  Monitoring for focal species should track progress towards species outcomes included in Southwest Rivers Business plan. Applicants are encouraged to contact NFWF program staff prior to submitting a proposal to discuss projects that include species monitoring.

Capacity Grants

Increase capacity for implementation of priority conservation activities through partner positions. Applications are encouraged which support new full-time or part-time partner positions at applicant organizations such as foresters, wildlife biologists, rangeland specialists, and/or other natural resource professionals that will work in conjunction with NRCS personnel in New Mexico on a daily basis to carry out the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Duties of IRA partner positions include, but are not limitegrants d to, the following:

Providing technical assistance in the development of conservation plans and checkouts of completed practices
Preparing and/or monitoring various contract management reports.
Preparing and issuing correspondence to participants such as annual practice reminders, deferral letters, preapproval letters, and eligibility letters.
Providing assistance with the application process such as reviewing documents for completeness, verifying control of land, irrigation history, signature authority, required electronic registrations, and troubleshooting eligibility/vendor issues.
Assisting with contract management by uploading and maintaining documents in electronic systems; removing expired contracts from active contract filing cabinets; and ensuring appropriate signatures on documents.
Assisting with the completion of reviews and audits by compiling documentation needed to support audit samples.

Funding Information

The Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative will award up to $3.2 million in the 2024 funding cycle. NFWF expects to make 8-12 grant awards from this Request for Proposals. In 2024, $1.8 million of the funding available is specifically targeted to priority activities on or adjacent to BLM lands in New Mexico.
Projects should begin within six months of the award date and be completed within three years of the agreed start date.

Geographical Areas
The Initiative will award grants in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas within the focal areas.
Eligibility Criteria
Eligible and Ineligible Entities:

Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, educational institutions.
Ineligible applicants include: international organizations, businesses or unincorporated individuals.

For more information, visit NFWF.

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