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GCP Developing a process and conservation application for Landscape Conservation Design for the Gulf Coast Prairie LCC


Organization: Gulf Coast Prairie LCC
Name: Developing a process and conservation application for Landscape Conservation Design for the Gulf Coast Prairie LCC
Submission Period: December 21, 2016 3:00 PM MST - January 12, 2017 9:00 PM MST

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Notes: This funding opportunity is open only to those who submitted a statement of interest and were invited to submit a full proposal. References are indicated by {#} and listed at the end.

Project Need: GCP LCC identified focal species and associated habitats {1} to help focus Partnership efforts on priority conservation and associated science needs, including the development of landscape conservation design products that aid decision-making for conservation delivery actions. In order to improve biological planning and landscape conservation design efforts to implement State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) for the benefit of LCC focal species, the Partnership requires a process and specific products to ensure a transparent and reproducible framework for future conservation delivery and application.

Project Description: Landscape conservation design is a partner-driven approach to achieve a sustainable, resilient socio-ecological landscape. It is an iterative, collaborative, and holistic process resulting in strategic and spatial products that provide information, analytical tools, maps, and strategies to achieve landscape goals collectively held among partners. Refer to the SHC Handbook {2}, the GCP Science Strategy {3}, and Best Practices for LCC Landscape Conservation Designs {4} for more information and background.

In close working relationship with the LCC Science Coordinator, GIS Coordinator, and Technical Review Team develop a scientific Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process and procedures to ensure a collaborative and iterative planning and modeling of LCC focal species and associated habitats in an identified area (A map of area of the pilot geography is attached to this funding opportunity). This project will set the stage for further LCD efforts and implementation strategies to aid decision-making for conservation delivery actions (e.g. restoring grassland habitats) by GCP LCC partners.

The activities conducted through this project will at least include: (a) literature review, baseline assessments and summaries, (b) draft Conservation Blueprint (i.e., fine filter maps and tools), (c) work group and GCP LCC outreach, (d) facilitate and refine the process through Technical Work Group Meetings, and (e) final report, data, and management recommendations.

Stages in the LCD under the RFP:

  1. Formulation: includes baseline assessments of landscape condition and configuration, assessment of actors, current planning, and interests, and a draft summary of the common landscape vision for conservation in the identified area based on results from interviews with identified actors. (Note: The LCC has already started this phase. The information obtained and synthesis will add value to further efforts from principle investigators selected through this proposal process.)
  2. Convening (Phase 1) centered on LCC focal species and associated habitats and including the facilitation of identified actors (from formulation stage and others) to identify.
  • the concerns, desires, fundamental objectives, and tactics (means objectives) to achieve a common landscape vision,
  • the threats, uncertainties and opportunities facing identified conservation targets (e.g. LCC focal species and associated habitats in the identified area),
  • the availability and gaps in planning, data, and other tools to represent the landscape vision, and
  • alternate approaches to combine and optimize these products and data to draft a conservation blueprint for the identified area
  1. Spatial design(s) in consultation with actors and others to produce a draft Conservation Blueprint to achieve the common landscape vision
  2. Convening (Phase 2): Facilitate and gather feedback on results of drafted spatial design(s) from parties involved in phase 1 of convening and identify important cultural resources in the identified area
  3. Refinement of spatial design(s) based on phase 2 of convening
  4. Conduct outreach and elicit final feedback from included parties and others
  5. Report and present summaries and results including associated spatial design data and products to the LCC Steering Committee and Science Team with recommendations for next steps.

Project Products and Deliverables: With guidance from the GCP LCC and the Technical Review Team, the agency or organization awarded this funding will produce (identified by stage):

  1. Formulation: Summary of interviews and landscape assessments in formulating the conservation design effort;
  2. Convening: Summary of facilitated sessions of conservation actors to define and design the common conservation vision in the identified area
  3. Spatial Design: An ecological – cultural Blueprint [map(s) or geographic visualization “tool” of the geography(s) and important habitat patches and connectivity corridors] and associated documentation.
  4. Summary document and conservation map alternatives for collaborative review
  5. Summary report for each phase which will allow for the documentation of a formal process for fine scale LCD in the LCC.
  6. Final report including analysis of material collected, recommendations for conservation delivery, and suggested priorities for future research in the pilot geography.

Estimated Project Cost and Timeline: This project should be completed within 18 months of the signing of a grant agreement with Wildlife Management Institute. The maximum amount of GCP LCC funding available for this project is 200,000. Indirect costs eligible for reimbursement under this grant are limited to a maximum of 15% of direct costs. 

Instructions for Submittal:  

  1. The proposal must be submitted no later than Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 9:00 PM Central Daylight Time.
  2. The  proposal is limited to 12 pages and must include:
  3. Name, Job Title, and contact information for the Project Director or Principal Investigator and any other staff, faculty, or contractors who will be involved in completing the project.
  4. For each person identified, a description of their relevant knowledge, skills, and experience; the role each would fulfill; and the amount of time each would commit to the project.  It is important that the applicant(s) demonstrate expertise in elicitation, group facilitation, and spatial analysis.
  5.  A brief description of how your organization would approach the project and an estimated timeline for completion of products and deliverables. 
  6. Acknowledgment that the maximum amount of funding available from the GCP LCC, $200,000, is sufficient to complete the project using the personnel and approach described or identification of additional resources, including matching funds or in-kind services, your organization currently has available and will commit to complete or enhance the project.
  7. Acknowledgment that indirect costs are limited to 15% of direct costs for reimbursement. Additional waived indirect costs can be credited as matching funds. 

Evaluation: Proposals will be evaluated by a Technical Review Team appointed by the GCP LCC Steering Committee. Responses will be ranked based on the following criteria:

1. Responsiveness and Practical Relevance to the LCC

  • Does the proposed project address specific resource management needs identified in this RFP?
  • How clearly does the proposal define proposed deliverables and useful outputs/results relevant to the needs of the LCC?

2. Project Quality

  • What is the geographic scope of the proposal and its subsequent impacts/benefits?
  • Are sound approaches identified and described in the proposed methodology to produce the proposed project objectives and goals?
  • Are the project objectives clearly defined, achievable, measurable, and connected to specific goals, milestones/deliverables, and timelines (i.e., a work plan) for completion?
  • How will the proposed methodology produce the desired outcomes of partner(s) identified in the proposal?
  • What is the anticipated, extended use/life of the project’s results/products/services after the project is completed, and are they clearly stated in the proposal?

3. Project Value

  • Is the project budget reasonable and does the applicant leverage any existing assets or partnership funds?

4. Applicant's Qualifications

  • What are the qualifications of all project personnel?
  • How well-suited are the project team’s experience and background to successfully conducting this project?
  • If the applicant plans to hire a sub-contractor, is the sub-contractor specified?

References:

1.      http://gulfcoastprairielcc.org/science/focal-species-and-associated-habitats/

2.      https://www.fws.gov/landscape-conservation/pdf/shchandbook.pdf

3.      https://gulfcoastprairielcc.org/media/16923/gcp_lcc_science_strategy_august2014.pdf

4.      https://lccnetwork.org/sites/default/files/Best%20Practices%20for%20LCC%20Landscape%20Conservation%20Designs_v06162016.pdf


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