Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance


The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) implements the natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America. RTCA will help create local, regional and state networks of parks, rivers, trails, greenways and open spaces by collaborating with community partners and National Park areas in every state.

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
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Twenty (20) non-profit organizations
received funding to further enhance local trail systems that meet the NPS goals and objective as described by the program and legislation. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.
National Park Service Organic Act, 16 U.S.C. 1 to 16Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, 16 U.S.C. 1271-1287 as amended, Public Law 90-542; National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1241 as amended, Public Law 90-543; Outdoor Recreation Act of 1963, 16 U.S.C. 4601-3, Public Law 88-29; Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 797-828c.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Private nonprofit organizations and Federal, State and local government agencies.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Private nonprofit organizations and Federal, State and local government agencies.
Not applicable. 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
Program advice and information is available from the appropriate NPS Regional Office or the National Office. Consultation with an RTCA staff before an application for assistance is made helps clarify RTCA roles and contributions and also helps identify how the selection criteria might apply to your conservation and outdoor recreation goals. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Information is available electronically at http://www.nps.gov/rtca or you may contact the appropriate regional RTCA program leader.
Award Procedure
Decisions are based upon adherence to program criteria and the level of available staff time.
Aug 01, 2013 Proposals should be submitted by August 1 for the following fiscal year.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Generally about 4 months.
Not Applicable.
Assistance is for one year and may be renewed for a second year if warranted.
How are proposals selected?
(1) Initial project partners are identified and a lead project partner is designated. Note: The lead partner may be a state or local agency, tribe, non- profit organization, or citizens' group. Federal agencies, including the National Park Service, maybe the lead partner only in collaboration with a nonfederal partner. (2) Project has specific, partner- defined goals and anticipated measurable results that are: clearly stated; support the National Park Service mission and RTCA mission and strategic plan goals; protect important natural resources or enhance outdoor recreation opportunities; and will have results that occur within an appropriate timeframe. (3) There is a commitment by lead project partners to significant public involvement and outreach in the project. (4) Roles and contributions of initial project partners, including RTCA, are identified. There is a commitment by initial project partners to cooperate and to provide or obtain the resources necessary to implement the project. (5) There is evidence of broad support for the project. Preference is given to a project that also: (a) partners with a health organization; (b) engages youth or youth organizations; (c) develops or improve access in diverse urban areas with limited resources and facilities; (d) includes an NPS area as an actively involved project partner; (e) provides physical connections among resources of large natural landscapes; (f) expands public access to water resources and the development of water trails.
How may assistance be used?
None. For more specific information contact the regional or headquarters office. For more specific information contact the regional or headquarters office.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: No fixed amount. Applications must demonstrate commitment by interested public agencies and non-profit organizations.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Generally 1 to 2 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Generally 1 to 2 years.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None. Applicants are requested to communicate with National Park Service Regional Offices. Refer to Catalog Appendix IV or the web site, http://www.nps.gov/rtca, for addresses.
Headquarters Office
Stephan Nofield 1849 C Street, NW., (ORG CODE 2240), Washington, District of Columbia 20240 Phone: (202) 354-6922
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Advisory Services and Counseling) FY 14 $3,042,776; FY 15 est $1,900,000; and FY 16 est $1,900,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range $3,000 to $237,000
Average $45,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Project reports are available from NPS offices and the Web.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Projects supported one or more of the following strategic themes. The project:
■ Provided physical connection among
■ Included both outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation;
■ Partnered with or connects to an NPS area;
■ Partnered with a health organization; or
■ Engaged youth. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.