Challenge Cost Share
Encourage partnerships with nonfederal governments, private individuals and organizations, educational institutions, philanthropic and charitable groups, and businesses to support the mission of the Service. Projects must conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants for the continuing benefit of the American people.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: Fish and Wildlife Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants (Discretionary)
Fiscal Year 2014: The Department of the Interior disallowed the use Challenge Cost Share programs within the Department due to issues with how some agencies were managing their respective programs. Since the Challenge Cost Share Program has not been funded, there is no data for future years. Fiscal Year 2015: The Program did not receive anticipated funding. Project activity may resume in FY16. Fiscal Year 2016: The Program anticipates continuing project activity begun in FY16.
Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004, Title I, Public Law 108-108.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicants may be an individual/family, minority group, specialized group, small business, profit organization, private nonprofit/organization, quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization, native American, Federal, Interstate, Intrastate, State, Local, Sponsored organization, public nonprofit institution/organization, other public institution/organization, U.S. territory, or any organization with interests which support the mission of the Service. This program requires the cooperator(s) to provide a minimum of 50 percent of cost share from non-Federal sources, for local programs on National Wildlife Refuges, or benefitting other Service lands.
The Challenge Cost Share program is not a grant program, although they do use cooperative agreements for donations to these field projects. Service field station managers are encouraged to form partnerships and to secure project cost-sharing for projects initiated at that refuge or field station. By Service policy, the matching 50% cost share is provided by non-Federal sources, state/local governments, private individuals/organizations, business enterprises, and philanthropic and charitable groups.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The Service identifies projects or objects on or directly benefitting a national wildlife refuge or other Service lands for which cost sharing may be sought, and then solicits project proposals from partners/cooperators. Interested parties may contact the local National Wildlife Refuge or other Service office to participate or otherwise donate time, goods, or funds for these projects in order to support the mission of the Service. Proposals, including Standard Form 424 "Application for Federal Assistance," are submitted to the cooperating Service office that forwards them to their servicing Regional Office.
The Regional Challenge Cost Share Coordinator assembles a committee of Fish and Wildlife Service employees from a variety of disciplines to review, rank, and select the proposals for refuges or hatcheries for funding.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Decisions on funding of project proposals are usually made no later than 180 days after the receipt of the project proposals. If funding is approved, a Challenge Cost Share Agreement (CCSA) is written between the Service and a cooperator(s) in which there is an equal partnership between the Federal government and the cooperator(s) that produces or provides a tangible product which mutually benefits Service lands and objectives, and the public. The Regional Contracting and General Services offices will review all CCSA's for contractual sufficiency. The agreements will be signed by the cooperator(s) and the Regional Director.
How are proposals selected?
Refuge managers and other Service managers develop, in concert with partners, project proposals on, or benefitting Service lands, that are evaluated on the lasting effect on conservation, enhancement and protection. They will also be evaluated on scope of effect, number of partners involved, importance of resource values, feasibility, and cost effectiveness.
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used for regionally approved Challenge Cost Share projects. Field managers plan and implement the projects which must be on, or directly benefitting, Service (federal) lands. The program requires that the Service expend no more than 50% of the cost to complete a project and that a minimum of the other 50% of the funds be of nonfederal origin. The cooperator share may be a non-monetary contribution, such as materials, or in-kind services. For further information, please contact the regional office.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Program reports are not applicable. Cash reports are not applicable. Financial and performance reporting frequency and other requirements will be detailed in the award terms and conditions. Interim reports cannot be requested more frequently than quarterly, and no less frequently than annually. Interim reports are due 30 calendar days after the expiration of the quarter/midterm/year anniversary, as appropriate. Final reports are required within 90 calendar days from the end date of the award. Submission of payment requests using the SF-270, Request for Advance or Reimbursement (Non-Construction) or SF-271, Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement (Construction) satisfies interim financial reporting requirements. A final SF-425, Federal Financial Report is required 90 days from the end date of the award. This form can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms/. For additional information regarding financial reporting requirements and sanctions for noncompliance please see http://www.doi.gov/pam/financialassistance/postaward/docs/Policy_regarding_Fin_Status_Reporting_Req.pdf. A final performance report is required within 90 calendar days from the end date of the award. Performance reports must contain a comparison of actual accomplishments with the goals and objectives of the award as detailed in the approved scope of work, a description of reasons why established goals were not met, if appropriate, and any other pertinent information relevant to the project results.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: The Service shall expend no more than 50% of the cost to complete projects. The matching 50% cost share is provided by non-Federal sources, state/local governments, private individuals/organizations, business enterprises, and philanthropic and charitable groups.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Challenge Cost Share Agreements are written for funds that should be spent within 1 year; upon approval, agreements may be extended beyond the 1 year for reasonable cause. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed to recipients as requested and in accordance with the payment methods prescribed in 43 CFR Part 12, or as otherwise prescribed in program-specific legislation.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Bob Peyton, National Wildlife Refuge System, 911 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232; (503) 872-2720
Patti Plagge, USFWS Regional Office, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103; (505) 248-7487
Rob Bruesewitz, 1 Federal Drive, Bishop Whipple Federal Building, Fort Snelling, MN 55111-4056; (612) 713-5403
Laura Housh, Regional Planner, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Route 2 Box 3330, Folkston, GA 31537; (912) 496-7366 Ext. 244
Lamar Gore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035; (413) 253-8542
James Graves, Planning and Budget Development, Region 6 Regional Office, 134 Union Blvd, Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228; (303) 236-4376
Kristen Gilbert, Division of Visitor Services, R7 Alaska Regional Office, 1011East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503; (907) 786-3391
Carol Damberg, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2606, Sacramento, CA 95825; (916) 414-6461.
Assistant Director, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: NWRS,, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803 Phone: (703) 358-2248.
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - PROJECT GRANTS (Discretionary): FY14 $0; FY15 $0; FY16 $0.
No new funding for this program is expected. CFDA should remain active through FY15 to allow Bureau to close all currently open awards and report any associated amendments to government-wide systems that require the identification of an active CFDA number as a key reporting element.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Program did not operate. Fiscal Year 2015: Program did not operate. Fiscal Year 2016: No data currently available.