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Expenditure Framework/Guidance for Applicants

Vision

The Oregon Conservation & Recreation Advisory Committee envisions an Oregon where native fish and wildlife thrives in healthy habitats across the state’s lands and waters and where all Oregonians realize their role in achieving this vision. To do so, the Advisory Committee hopes to support robust conservation projects and get people involved with Oregon’s fish, wildlife, wild places, and recreational opportunities to inspire their personal stewardship.

Learn more about the Oregon Conservation & Recreation Advisory Committee here: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/OCRF/committee.asp

Expenditures

The Conservation & Recreation Fund was created to grow the capacity of the Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage all of Oregon’s fish and wildlife species and to implement the Oregon Conservation Strategy. The legislation creating the Fund is not specific about how the Advisory Committee will allocate funds. Given the nature of this limited duration Fund, it has been deemed most appropriate for the 2019-2021 biennium to focus on granting monies to partners and organizations that can undertake projects that meet the intent of the Fund. 

At the April 6, 2020 meeting, the Advisory Committee indicated their intent to allocate resources from the 2019-2021 biennium to projects via a competitive process. The Committee plans to solicit a diversity of projects through a competitive Request for Proposals process which will be objectively judged through a set of established criteria. The Committee will retain the authority to use their discretion to support projects with the Committee’s priorities and the legislative mandate without a competitive process.

By statute and administrative rule, the activities for which the department may expend monies from the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund include, but are not limited to:

  1. Promoting the health of Oregon’s ecosystems and fish and wildlife species by implementing conservation programs and strategies identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy, including conservation programs and strategies for the nearshore identified in the marine component of the Oregon Conservation Strategy;
  2. Improving engagement of the public in wildlife watching, hunting and fishing opportunities and in other outdoor recreation opportunities related to and in support of healthy fish, wildlife and habitats;
  3. Improving educational outreach and engagement of the public, including diverse and underserved communities, related to and in support of healthy fish, wildlife and habitats;
  4. Engaging in, and providing funding for, joint projects of the department and the State Parks and Recreation Department or other state agencies as recommended by the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee; and
  5. Other conservation, management, research, habitat improvement, enforcement, outdoor recreation or education activities.

Other Expenditure Details:

  • There is no minimum or maximum limit on financial requests that can be made from the Fund.
  • The Committee may consider accepting restricted donations on a case by case basis by evaluating proposals against existing program priorities and criteria.

Program Priorities for the OCRF                 

To be considered for funding, the funded elements of a project must include one of the priorities defined as either Conservation and/or Recreation as described below. In all priority areas, the Advisory Committee will prioritize projects that engage Oregonians in the solution to a key conservation issue or in recreational opportunities that reach out to and engage people who have not participated in the past because of language barriers, financial barriers, access barriers, etc.

The definition of Conservation for the purposes of the Oregon Conservation & Recreation Advisory Committee, is: Improving the health of Oregon’s ecosystems and populations of fish and wildlife species.

For conservation projects, The Advisory Committee will prioritize:

  • Habitat restoration and improving habitat connectivity related to implementing the recommendations in the Oregon Conservation Strategy and evolving science.
  • Science, research, and monitoring directly related to implementing the recommendations in the Oregon Conservation Strategy, especially through community science activities.

The definition of Recreation for the purposes of the work of the Oregon Conservation & Recreation Advisory Committee, is: Any activity undertaken to enjoy, appreciate, or support fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

For recreation projects, The Advisory Committee will prioritize:

  • Opportunities to engage and expand the number and diversity of Oregon’s outdoor users.
  • Opportunities to introduce Oregonians to wildlife-associated recreation.
  • Educational materials and opportunities related to responsible recreation, ecology, and wildlife conservation for kids and adults in multiple languages.
  • Research or planning that supports responsible recreational opportunities.
  • Enhancement or restoration of trails and access to waterways in a way that preserves or enhances sensitive habitat or that resolves impacts related to informal or dispersed recreation in sensitive habitat.

*The committee welcomes projects that combine conservation and recreation.

Who Can Apply

Any public or private non-profit organization may request funds. Private non-profit organizations must have tax-exempt status under the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3). Businesses and individuals are not eligible to apply.

Measuring Success

The Committee recognizes the importance of both short- and long-term monitoring to evaluate project outcomes. Beyond the reporting that will be required by our successful applicants, the committee intends to allocate a minimum of 5% of funds to investigating, monitoring, and reporting on the success of our expenditures on a biennial basis. Both evidence-based and values-based metrics may be considered to measure the impact of our projects.

Project Review Timeline – Fall 2020

  • Deadline for submission: October 21
  • Advisory Committee reviews and recommends projects: November 17
  • ODFW Commission considers recommendations: December 11

Funds Available – Fall 2020

Funds available in the Conservation & Recreation Fund are currently contingent on donations generated through OregonIsAlive.org and the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Electronic Licensing System. To date, over $100,000 for the OCRF has been generated by individual donations.  As of August 25, 2020, the Committee has approximately $45,000 in unobligated funds. Donations continue to grow, so the Committee expects that the amount available for expenditure in this round will be significantly larger by the time projects are recommended in November. The Committee has committed to expending at least $20,000 of these funds to projects focused on addressing gaps in equity in Oregon’s outdoors.

For this round of expenditures, the maximum funding request is $10,000.

Expenditure Portfolio

The Advisory Committee seeks to make multiple, diverse expenditures. The below list is an informal characterization of the metrics the Committee will consider to ensure that the suite of projects they select are diverse enough to represent the breadth of work the Committee can support.

Portfolio Metrics

  • Diverse geography (east/west, north/south, urban/rural, OCS ecoregions)
  • Diverse taxonomically (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, invertebrates)
  • Diverse representation of program priorities (see Expenditure Framework)
  • Diverse partners engaged & included in the overall portfolio
  • Directly engages Oregonians in the solution to a key conservation issue or in recreational opportunities that reach out to and engage people who have not participated in the past because of language barriers, financial barriers, access barriers, etc.

How the Committee will evaluate proposals

The Committee will evaluate these proposals based on the criteria below.

  • Clarity of the proposal – well presented, organized and with clear deliverables
  • Project outcomes align with OCRF Program Priorities identified in the Expenditure Framework and are consistent with the Oregon Conservation Strategy – the more the better, but strong alignment with at least one as specified in the framework
  • Timeliness and/or have the necessary approvals in place – the Committee seeks projects that will be implemented in the next few months
  • Appropriate partnership and demonstration of partner investment – project engages a variety of partners and shows commitment from participants
  • Measurability – the applicant has identified the ability to quantify the results of the project
  • Addresses the types of diversity identified in the Portfolio Metrics (see above section)
  • Outdoor Equity - How well projects engage Oregonians in the solution to a key conservation issue or in recreational opportunities that reach out to and engage people who have not participated in the past because of language barriers, financial barriers, access barriers, etc.

The Committee will also look favorably on proposals that demonstrate:

  • Proven track record of applicant to achieve stated outcomes
  • Integration/intersectionality between conservation and recreation

Submitting Proposals

The deadline to apply has passed.

Questions can be referred to the Department of Fish and Wildlife via email: odfw.ocrf@state.or.us or by phone: 971-719-1192.

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