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Community Wildfire Defense Grant


A home surrounded by tall trees survived the Holiday Farm Fire in 2020 with assistance from the Oregon Department of Forestry
A home that survived the Holiday Farm Fire in 2020, due to mitigation work done by the Oregon Department of Forestry completed with federal grant funding. Oregon Department of Forestry photo by Jenna Trentadue.
 

About the Community Wildfire Defense Grant

The Community Wildfire Defense Grants are intended to help at-risk local communities and Tribes plan and reduce the risk against wildfire.   

The Act prioritizes at-risk communities in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential, are low-income, and/or have been impacted by a severe disaster. More details on these three priorities can be found in the Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) below.   

The Community Wildfire Defense Grant helps communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI) implement the three goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy):

  • Restore and Maintain Landscapes: Landscapes across all jurisdictions are resilient to fire-related disturbances, in accordance with management objectives. 
  • Create Fire Adapted Communities: Human populations and infrastructure can better withstand a wildfire without loss of life and property. 
  • Improve Wildfire Response: All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions. 

The grants are funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

There are two primary project types for which the grant provides funding:  

  • The development and revision of Community Wildfire Protection Plans. 
  • The implementation of projects described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is less than ten years old. 

 


How to Apply for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program

Applications now available. For questions regarding applications, please contact Melissa Aulisio, accessga@usda.gov

    Eligibility: 

    The grants are only for eligible projects developed by communities, Tribes, states, non-profits, and Alaska Native Corporations. Communities will receive priority for this program if they are a low-income area, recently impacted by disaster or in a wildfire hazard location. 

    Category Elements
    Eligibility
    • At-risk community  
    • For project implementation:  Described in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is not more than 10-years old 
    • Entity type: local governments, Tribes, non-profit organizations, State forestry agencies, Alaska Native Corporations 
    • Roofing ordinance (applies to ½ of the funding)
    Scoring: Priority 
    • Area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential 
    • Low-income community; or 
    • Community impacted by a severe disaster 

     


      Community Wildfire Protection Plan Development or Update Community Wildfire Protection Plan Project Implementation
    Eligibility General ones listed previously General ones, including less than 10-years old CWPP
    Maximum Grant Award No more than $250k No more than $10M

    Cost-Share Match

    Not less than 10% Not less than 25%
    Cost-Share Match Waiver Full waiver if community is underserved, only waiver allowed Same requirements
    Requirements Some Basic Community Wildfire Protection Plan elements may be described in the appendix for those developed under this program. Must be a project described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan

     


    Risk Dataset: Methods and Intended Uses

    The Wildfire Risk to Communities project team developed a nationally consistent risk dataset to support the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program.

    The dataset supports the goals of the program described in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and can be used to help:

    • Identify eligible at-risk communities.
    • Prioritize places that are / have:
      • Low income
      • Been impacted by a severe disaster
      • High or very high wildfire hazard potential
    • Identity places that qualify as underserved and that can request a waiver of match.

    The Risk Dataset is not intended to be the only source of information to prioritize communities, but it can help fill data gaps to support applicants. 

    More information is available from the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Risk Dataset: Methods and Intended Uses

     


    Registration:

    • Important: Applicants must register in sam.gov to apply for a grant through grants.gov. Organizations using the grants.gov portal must have an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), which will generate a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).  Creating a SAM registration may take several weeks or more to complete. Therefore, ensure you apply for your SAM registration promptly. 

     


    How to Apply in grants.gov

    • Applications are now available in grants.gov.

    Applicants can find the grant opportunities on grants.gov using the opportunity number for specific locations.  All applications must include a project proposal. 

     


    Applicant Webinars:

    The opportunity to participate in the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Webinars for Applicants have concluded. However, those webinars were recorded and may be viewed in the Wildland Fire Learning Portal.

    If you already have an account, simply enter your login information. If you do not yet have an account, you may create an account on that webpage.

    Once logged in, you should automatically be directed to the 2022 Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) to enroll. If not automatically directed, to find the webinars search in the Find Learning tab (top left of website). A dropdown menu will appear, Choose the second option, and  type the CWDG acronym into the Search by field, and then select Search.

    The webinars will be available for the following areas: 

    • Northeast-Midwest States
    • Western States and Territories
    • Southern States
    • Tribes

    See the accordions below for which States or Territories are covered in which areas.

     


    The recorded Community Wildfire Defense Grant Applicant Webinars are now available in the Wildland Fire Learning Portal. Instructions, webinar slides, and additional information is also available in the Applicant Webinars section below.

     


    The Applicant Webinar Slides from the Community Wildfire Defense Grant are available. The application process is different by the location or for the Tribal applicants. Two-sets of slides are available below: 

     


    Opportunity numbers in grants.gov

    Northeast-Midwest States

    USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-NEMW 

    This is for projects that will be carried out within the footprint of the Northeast-Midwest States: (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). 

    Southern States

    USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-SGSF

    This is for projects that will be carried out within the footprint of the Southern States (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, and for Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). 

    Western States and Territories

    USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-CWSF

    This is for projects that will be carried out within the footprint of the Western States and Territories (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Territory of American Samoa, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands). 

    Tribes

    USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-TRIBES

    This is for projects that will be carried out by Tribes. While this Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is specifically for Tribes, they may also apply under the corresponding state NOFO as well. 

     


    The Pre-Award Guide for Applicants

    The Office of Grants and Agreements has developed the Pre-Award Guide for Applicants that can be used for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant and others. The guide addresses high-level and routine components of a grant application.

    New or infrequent grant applicants to the USDA Forest Service may find it helpful. Those with grant application experience may also find new and updated information inside the guide.

     


    Additional Federal Wildfire Grant Resources

    Federal Wildfire Resources describes a variety of pre-disaster Federal grant and cost-share programs across the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that can support community-led efforts to prepare for wildfire.

     

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/grants