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
Deleted 03/27/2024 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
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?
Applicant Eligibility
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.
Beneficiary Eligibility
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.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
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.
Award Procedure
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.
Not applicable.
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.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
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?
Performance Reports: Performance reports are required. Recipients must monitor and report on project performance in accordance with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.328. A final performance report is due within 90 calendar days of the award period of performance end date, unless the awarding program approves a due date extension. The FWS details all reporting requirements including frequency and due dates in Notices of Award.
Not applicable.
Records must be maintained in accordance with 2 CFR 200.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 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 assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Challenge Cost Share Agreements are written for funds that should be spent within one year; upon approval, agreements may be extended beyond the one year for reasonable cause. Funds are disbursed to recipients as requested and in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles, unless 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 Betsy Matten, Region 6 Regional Office, 134 Union Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80228; (303) 236-4307 Kristen Gilbert, Division of Visitor Services, R7 Alaska Regional Office, 1011 East 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.
Headquarters Office
Assistant Director,
National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: NWRS
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 US
Phone: (703) 358-2248
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 18$0.00; FY 19 est $0.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$16,000.00; - This program is no longer issuing awards. The CFDA remains active to allow the Service 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
Not available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources