Natural Resource Stewardship


As a steward of the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to preserve and protect park resources and values. The NPS actively manages and conducts research on natural resources in the national park system to meet its statutory responsibility to preserve these resources unimpaired for future generations.

The Natural Resource Stewardship program is the principle means through which the NPS evaluates and improves the health of watersheds, landscapes, and marine and coastal resources, sustains biological communities on the lands and waters in parks, and actively endeavors to improve the resiliency of these natural resources and adapt them to the effects of climate change.

The National Park Service (NPS) conducts natural resource stewardship largely at the park level, utilizing park personnel and contractor or cooperative support. To carry out and further this stewardship responsibility, the Service implements programs that encompass a broad range of research, operational, and educational activities. The NPS inventories, evaluates, documents, preserves, protects, monitors, maintains, and interprets the natural resources at 392 park units, 21 trails and 58 wild and scenic rivers. NPS stewardship helps to perpetuate resources and allows for their continued appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: National Park Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants); Direct Payments for Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Over 80 awards were made to
organizations throughout the United States. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.
Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, Title III Section 301, Public Law 110-229, 122 Stat. 754-876; Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 Public Law 104-208, Stat. 3009-181; Cooperative Agreements, 16 U.S.C. 1g: Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996, Public Law 104-333; Challenge Cost Share 16 U.S.C. 1f; Research and Training 16 U.S.C. 1a-2j; Cooperative Ecosystem Study Units 16 U.S.C. 5933.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicant entity must have expertise in the contemplated resource management and/or research project.
Beneficiary Eligibility
State and local governments, Federal recognized Indian Tribal governments, public/private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit institutions of higher education, and individuals.
Applicant entities must have expertise in the contemplated resource management and/or research project. If applying as a nonprofit organization, proof of
nonprofit status will be required. Examples of prior work in technical areas related to management and research in natural areas is required.

2 CFR Part 200, in its entirety, apply to this program. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination will be specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, if applicable. Environmental impact assessment or statement may be required for projects within this program. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application packages will be posted for an Eligible Applicant's response utilizing the website. Upon receipt of timely submissions, applications will be reviewed by the NPS and may be circulated for others to review. Notification of Awards will be provided to applicants by issuance of a Cooperative Agreement by the Awarding Official within the time specified on the announcement. The standard application forms required by 43 CFR Part 12, Subparts C and F, must be used. Application packages will be made available on
Award Procedure
Timely submissions will be reviewed in relationship to the evaluation criteria specified in the opportunity announcement. Awards will be made in the form of a cooperative agreement.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days.
Not Applicable.
Recipients may request renewal of existing projects or additional projects to meet program goals and objectives. NPS will make awards based on mission needs and priorities. Renewals are contingent upon available appropriations to the program.
How are proposals selected?
Specific criteria will be developed based on the objectives of individual projects and will be provided in Funding Opportunity Announcements. Generally, relevance to agency program mission and qualification of principle investigator and institution will be important to the acceptance of proposals.
How may assistance be used?
Funds used for all aspects of natural resource (air, water, geological, biological) stewardship activities, including but not limited to resource inventories and monitoring, restoration projects, wildlife and plant management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Secretary of Interior must determine that appropriations for the purpose of cooperative management of projects are available and an agreement is in the best interests of the United States. Funds may not be used for acquisition of real property. Contact the Headquarters Office for more information. Contact the Headquarters Office for more information.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Program reports are not applicable. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress Reports are required at a minimum annually and final progress reports. Specific requirements are indicated in the award documents and may vary for given programs. The SF 425 Federal Financial Report is required. Both interim and final reports are required as described in the award documents. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
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.
Per 2 CFR Part 200.333 – 200.337.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Recipients share some project or program costs. The cost-sharing arrangements are developed between NPS and the recipients in advance of the program unless otherwise stated by Congress.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is provided on a project basis. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are released on a reimbursable basis as costs are incurred.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices.
Headquarters Office
Gary Mason, National Park Service, Natural Resources Science and Stewardship, 1201 Eye Street, Washington, District of Columbia 20006 Email: Phone: (202) 513-7204.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 14 $13,911,873; FY 15 est $8,586,600; and FY 16 est $8,586,500
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $4,000.00 - $213,000.00
Average: $55,000.00.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR, Part 200, 43 CFR, OMB Circulars, standard forms, and program information
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Stewardship projects that support the NPS mission at various National Parks, Sites, Trails. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.


Federal Grants Resources