National Landscape Conservation System


More than 34 million acres of BLM land is recognized for outstanding conservation values and designated for special management by Acts of Congress or Presidential Proclamations. The BLM manages these special areas to maintain and enhance their conservation values with the goal to conserve, protect, and restore these important landscapes and their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values. The National Conservation Lands protect a myriad of rare species, diverse habitats and ecosystems, historic properties, and cultural resources. These designated lands help ensure that the Nation?s extraordinary biodiversity and cultural heritage will be sustained for present and future generations to enjoy. More than one-fourth of all recreation on BLM lands occur on National Conservation Lands. These diverse lands provide opportunities for recreationists of all kinds, such as white-water rafters, rock climbers, hunters, fishermen, hikers, skiers, and off-highway vehicle riders. The BLM manages units that include over 2,700 recreation sites and 22 visitor centers, and serves approximately 14 million visitors annually. The National Conservation Lands include the following unit designations: National Monuments and National Conservation Areas; Wilderness/Wilderness Study Areas; National Wild and Scenic Rivers; National Scenic and Historic Trails; and California Desert National Conservation Lands.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Bureau of Land Management, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2018 The program received 57 proposals and issued 17 awards.
Fiscal Year 2019 The program receive 29 proposals and issued 15 awards.
Fiscal Year 2020 The program anticipates to receive 60 proposals and issue 15 awards.
Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) U.S.C. 43 Part 1737(b)
Good Neighbor Authority U.S.C. 16 2113(a)
Plant Protection Act of 2000 U.S.C. 7 Chapter 61 Noxious Weeds 2814
Watershed Restoration and Enhancement Act U.S.C. 16 1101 (b)
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act U.S.C. 16 Chapter 28 §1283 (e)
National Trails System Act U.S.C. 16 1246 (c)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Not applicable.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. For more information and local program requirements, cooperative project proposals should be coordinated with the Bureau of Land Management local State or District/Field Offices. No State plan is required with this application. Environmental impact information is not required for this program.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 2 CFR, Part 200, Subpart C-Pre-Federal Award Requirements and Contents of Federal Awards. A Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance, Standard Form 424A, Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs, Standard Form 424B, Assurances for Non-Construction Programs, and a written proposal, budget spreadsheet, a budget narrative/breakdown, and any other requirements specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity Notice and submitted through Applications passing this screening process will be forwarded for review by the proposal evaluation criteria, and any additional review factors, as stated in the funding announcement. State and District Office level and funding recommendations are made through the State's annual work plan. Final budget approvals rest with the State Director. State plan is not required for this application.
Award Procedure
Applications passing this screening process will be forwarded for review by the proposal evaluation criteria, and any additional review factors, as stated in the funding announcement. State and District Office level and funding recommendations are made through the State's annual work plan. Final budget approvals rest with the State Director.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Award time varies depending on the type and complexity of the project. Further information will be available for each project at the time the Notice of Funding Opportunity is posted on and may be obtained by contacting the point of contact listed in the funding opportunity announcement. Most awards are anticipated within 90 days or less after the announcement closes.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
All applications will be initially screened for eligibility and compliance with the requirements stated in the program Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement. First Level Screening -Basic Eligibility. Applications will be screened by the Grants Management Officer to ensure that applications meet basic eligibility requirements. Must meet the requirements of the Notice of Funding Opportunity posted on, screening may include, but is not limited to: Program and/or legislative authority requirements are met; Submission is timely; and complete and properly executed SF-424 application package documents. B. Applications must satisfy basic eligibility screening requirements to be considered for further review. Second Level Evaluation -- Merit Review Evaluation. Each State will be responsible for designating a State Evaluation Committee (Committee) with appropriate expertise and professional qualifications for the Merit Review Evaluation. The BLM State Offices will evaluate proposals only for their specific State. The Committee will review, rate, and recommend eligible applications for award in an objective and unbiased manner using the below evaluation criteria. An overall consensus rating will be determined for each application and submitted to BLM Washington Office, National Conservation Lands Division. Projects will be evaluated by the State Evaluation Committee in a two-step process. Step 1: Assess proposal relevance to themes and coordination with BLM a. The Project clearly addresses one or both of the themes listed above (Yes or No). b. There is clear demonstration of coordination with the appropriate State Lead or unit manager in project design, implementation, and development of management application (Yes or No). Projects that do not meet both of these criteria will not be considered for funding. Step 2: Rate each proposal that addresses one or more theme and demonstrates BLM coordination using the following criteria a. The project products will have direct management application, i.e. address an important conservation and management decision. There is clear demonstration of the management issue being addressed and how well the information from the project feeds back to that management issue. The form or manner in which the project products will be made available for use by decision-makers or other intended users is clearly defined (e.g., technical reports, decision support tool, new or improved management technique(s)). b. Technical Merit Objectives are clearly stated, procedures are well designed, results are attainable, quantifiable estimates will be statistically reliable and comparable to other studies. There is a clear statement of project objectives and explanation as to how the proposed approach and methods are a technically sound and feasible way to meet those objectives. c. The project addresses a BLM priority Maximum score is given if the proposal clearly states how it will address a BLM priority (i.e., environmentally-responsible development of energy and minerals; effective management of borderlands; supporting working landscapes; managing multiple-uses on public lands; supporting traditional land uses such as grazing; or providing access to hunting, fishing, and other recreational opportunities on the National Conservation Lands). d. The project clearly demonstrates a public benefit Projects which clearly demonstrate dissemination of information to the public or other public benefits will receive higher scores. 3. Third Level Review - BLM Washington Office, National Conservation Lands Division. The National Office will have a national committee with membership based on expertise and professional qualification to review applications. Eligible applications will be evaluated in an objective and unbiased manner with the following merit review criteria. An overall consensus rating will be determined for each application. The ratings and proposals will be submitted to the Assistant Director of the National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships for funding determinations. a. State Evaluation Committee Ranking b. Project's scope has broad regional or national conservation relevance in line with BLM's priorities Higher scores given to projects with broader regional or national application compared to projects that have significant but local application. 4. Fourth Level Review - Pre-award Clearance and Approvals Following the described review process, BLM will also complete a business evaluation and determination of responsibility. During these evaluations the Grants Management Officer will evaluate variables such as: a. Risk Management. The BLM uses a risk-based approach to evaluate the risk posed by the supporting applicants' projects before it awards Federal funds. 1) BLM is required to review information available through OMB-designated eligibility and/or financial integrity databases, such as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). The BLM considers factors such as: (a) Financial stability; (b) Quality of management systems; (c) History of performance managing Federal awards, timeliness of compliance with reporting requirements, conformance to the terms and conditions of previous Federal awards, etc.; (d) Reports and findings from audits performed; and (e) The applicant's ability to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements imposed on non-Federal entities. 2) Budget review is based on the following: (a) Budget line items must be allowable, allocable, reasonable in price, and appropriate for the level of effort needed to accomplish the project (b) Budget details and justification must provide adequate explanation of, and justification for, each estimated cost (c) Requested equipment must be justified and necessary for completion of the project (d) Cost Sharing/Matching funds must not come from Federal funds If the results of all pre-award reviews and clearances are satisfactory, an award of funding will be made once the agreement is finalized. If the BLM determines that a Federal award will be made, special conditions that correspond to the degree of risk assessed may be applied to the Federal award If the results of pre-award reviews and clearances are unsatisfactory, consideration of funding for the project may be withdrawn.
How may assistance be used?
Projects are primarily conducted on BLM-managed National Conservation Lands, but may also be conducted on other public land adjacent to National Conservation Lands. The National Conservation Lands financially supports studies aimed at increasing our understanding of the resources present on BLM lands, the effectiveness of BLM’s resource management decisions, and the National Conservation Lands’ restoration and conservation needs.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Shall submit at the minimum an annual Performance Report in accordance with the 2 CFR, Part 200.328 within 90 days after the anniversary date or as indicated in the Notice of Award. Upon completion of the agreement, recipients shall submit a final report no later than 90 calendar day after the award end date:
Not applicable.
All recipients of Federal awards shall maintain project records in accordance with 2 CFR 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other non-Federal entity records pertinent to a Federal award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report or, for Federal awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, from the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report, respectively, as reported to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity in the case of a subrecipient. Federal awarding agencies and pass-through entities must not impose any other record retention requirements upon non-Federal entities, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.333.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
No specific restrictions for most projects. However, most projects are awarded no more than a five year period and funded on a year-by-year basis. Funds are expended during a particular fiscal year. Frequency of recipient payments will be determined for each awarded assistance agreement at the time of award.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Division Chief
1849 C Street, NW, Room 2134
Washington, DC 20240 US
Phone: 2022193180
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 18$400,000.00; FY 19 est $350,000.00; FY 20 est $345,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$10,000 to $125,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The National Landscape Conservation System (also known as the National Conservation Lands) was legislatively established by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 [Public Law 111-11] in order to conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations. The National Conservation Lands include BLM's National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Forest Reserves, legislated Outstanding Natural Areas, Cooperative Management and Protection Areas, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Scenic and Historic Trails. BLM policy states that "the BLM will use the best available science in managing NLCS units" and that "science and the scientific process will inform and guide management decisions concerning NLCS units" [BLM Manual SS6100(1.6)(A)(9) and (1.6)(F)(1)]. A variety of public interest publications on these programs are available free of charge by contacting the appropriate State Office. Manuals providing basic program operational guidance for the National Landscape Conservation System (BLM Manual 6100), National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and Similar Designations (BLM Manual 6220), Wild and Scenic Rivers (BLM Manual 6400), National Scenic and Historic Trails (BLM Manual 6280), Wilderness (BLM Manual 6340), and Wilderness Study Areas (BLM Manual 6330) may be obtained by contacting the Washington Office.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2018 Rangeland Resources Management Study in Arizona Wilderness Areas; Holistic Inventory of Fuels and Vegetation Change at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument; Vascular Plant Survey in San Juan Islands National Monument; Analysis and Modeling of Golden Eagle Diets in Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.
Fiscal Year 2019 Promoting Biological Soil Crusts through Grazing Management; Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Desert Bighorn Sheep and Recreation Monitoring Project; Consequences of Herbivory and Drought on Seedling Survival of Artemisia tridentata ssp. Wyomingensis; Developing a Springs and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Monitoring and Restoration Plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Fiscal Year 2020 Information is not available.


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