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Workshop to assist applicants apply for conservation grants

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

-- The Minnesota DNR is scheduling a series of statewide workshops in August to explain the application process for $4,210,560 in Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants available this year.

Projects must be designed to restore, enhance or protect prairies, forests, wetlands and habitat for fish, game and wildlife in Minnesota. Successful applicants must provide a 10 percent match for grants up to $100,000 and 15 percent for grants more than $100,000. One-third of the match can be in-kind services.

Last year, $3,740,000 in CPL grants was awarded to local, state and federal nonprofit organizations and governmental entities in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $400,000.

"This program is a great opportunity to undertake fish and wildlife projects at the local level," said Leslie Tannahill, grants coordinator. "The workshops will help prospective applicants learn what's new for the program this year, and how to develop proposals and submit applications."

Organizations are advised to begin working now with a land manager to develop projects and compile application information. The request for proposal and program manual are expected to be available on the CPL website by Aug. 2. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Sept. 16.

CPL project funding is a direct result of the constitutional amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008 that dedicated a fraction of the state sales tax to Clean Water, Land and Legacy projects. Thirty-three percent of those receipts are deposited in an Outdoor Heritage Fund overseen by the 12-member Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council for projects designed to restore, enhance or protect fish and wildlife habitat.

The workshops run from 6:30-9 p.m. The first half of the meetings will provide information on the CPL program, changes for this year, the application system and program requirements. The second half will focus on CPL grant writing, the scoring and ranking system, tips to maximize scoring potential, and required forms and attachments. Time will be provided before or after the workshops for questions and to discuss specific projects with CPL staff.

In addition,  Wildlife Section staff will hold small sessions by appointment only on Aug. 5 at the following offices in southwestern Minnesota:  Slayton, phone (507)836-6919; Marshall,  phone (507)537-6250;  Redwood Falls, phone (507)637-4076; New London, phone, (320)231-5163, and Owatonna, phone (507)455-5841.

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