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News Release

USDA Funding Available for Conservation Innovation Grants

Petra Popiel

2019 CIG Sign up

Grants Target Three Focal Areas and Applications Must be Submitted by July 16, 2019

DENVER, CO. May 28, 2019 –USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for consideration in Colorado’s 2019 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Grant applications can be found at keyword CIG. Proposals MUST be submitted by 5:00 pm on July 16, 2019 and should be electronically submitted to Elizabeth With, NRCS Program Manager.

The NRCS uses CIGs to work with partners to accelerate the transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches that address some of the nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns. This year, Colorado NRCS is focusing funding in three priority project areas including:

  • Increased Ecological Function and Sustainability: NRCS helps farmers and private landowners address complex ecological issues associated with ecosystem management and agricultural production.  Successful applicants addressing this project priority should be able to show how their innovative technology directly improves ecological function of systems while benefiting sustainability of the agricultural operation’s natural resources.  We envision a diversity of applications that address anything from manipulating microbes for soil health under cropped conditions to implementing innovative grazing techniques on native rangelands for the improvement of habitat for key wildlife.  Successful applicants will be able to clearly identify how their technology will work with or facilitate ecological processes to address an identified natural resource concern associated with agricultural and/or non-industrial, private forestland.
  • Ecosystem and/or Operation Resiliency:  NRCS, and partners, understand the impacts and hardships that volatility in natural systems may impart on managing agricultural systems.  Often a way to sustain healthy ecosystems and sustain natural resources over time is by building resiliency into those systems and the management of those systems. We envision a diversity of applications that address ways to build resilience into the agricultural production and/ or associated ecosystems.  Sample projects could include but are not limited to things like, floodplain restoration projects that facilitate more bank storage in any water year, technologies that facilitate adjusting seeding rates and mixes based on current weather patterns and conditions.  Successful applicants will be able to clearly identify how their technology will build resilience into ecosystems and agricultural operations and/or non-industrial, private forestland.
  • Collaborative Landscape Management:  NRCS recognizes that managing natural resources on a landscape scale, with many partners, can often increase the value of the work and money input by orders of magnitude.  We greatly value working with partners to help spread conservation and natural resource sustainability across landscapes and political boundaries. Applicant proposals are anticipated to vary widely and can include but are not limited to technologies that facilitate pollinator habitat continuity, innovative watershed forest management technologies, or innovative techniques that enable resource collaborative use and planning.  Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate how their technology facilitates multi-partner, landscape conservation.

Potential applicants should review the announcement of program funding available at, keyword CIG which includes application materials. Proposals MUST be submitted by 5:00pm on July 16, 2019 and should be electronically submitted to All U.S.-based entities and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of Federal agencies. CIG is authorized and funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Projects can last up to three years. The maximum award amount for any project this year is $75,000 with a 50% match required from applicants