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State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Program

The State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Program provides federal grant funds to states for the development and implementation of programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species that are not hunted or fished. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) uses SWG grant funds to develop and implement its’ State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). California's SWAP identifies wildlife "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" and prescribes actions to conserve these species and their habitats before they become more rare and costly to conserve. These species include threatened and endangered species, Species of Special Concern, and other species of terrestrial, aquatic, marine, and invertebrate wildlife species as determined by CDFW. The 2015 update of the California SWAP includes species that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Goals and Objectives

The overarching goals of California's SWAP 2015 are to:

  • Maintain and increase ecosystem and native species distributions in California while sustaining and enhancing species abundance and richness.
  • Maintain and improve ecological conditions vital for sustaining ecosystems in California.
  • Maintain and improve ecosystem functions and processes vital for sustaining ecosystems in California

Specific goals and objectives for priority conservation targets and geographic areas/conservation units are detailed in SWAP 2015. SWG grants are awarded for projects that further these goals and objectives and are consistent with the solicitation notice for the current grant cycle, which may provide a narrower set of priorities each year.

Funding Information

The State Wildlife Grant Fund provides funding to States and Territories for species and habitat conservation actions. These funds are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for fish and wildlife species. Congress appropriates funds for the State Wildlife Grant Program on an annual basis. Funds are apportioned to States, commonwealths, and U.S. territories based on a formula.

Final approval of proposals for funding is made by USFWS staff in conjunction with the Department. Matching funds of at least 35% of the project costs are required for SWG grants. Match funds in excess of the minimum requirement are desirable. Funding used to match these projects must be from a non-federal fund source. In-kind services may be counted as match as long as support funding is not from a federal source.

The SWG program has provided between $2 to almost $3 million per year to California in the past several years. A portion of that amount is allotted for this publicly solicited grant program. The amount available is determined each year and announced in the Public Solicitation Notice.


To accomplish the SWAP's objectives, while maximizing available public funds, the Department awards grants and contracts to nonprofit organizations, local government agencies, colleges and universities, and state departments. The above organizations must have the specific capacity to deliver the objectives as demonstrated by past performance or expertise through a statement of qualifications and experience. Proposed projects involving the handling of animals or potential take of listed species will require the appropriate individuals or entities to demonstrate take authorization (possession of appropriate state and federal take permits). Compliance with any and all relevant state and federal laws is required.

Application Information

When funding is available, the Department will post a Proposal Solicitation Notice (PSN) which describes the process and deadlines, and includes links to the templates required to submit a grant proposal. Applicants are encouraged to develop proposals in consultation with Department staff and applicants will be assigned a Department consultant by the Regional Manager for the Region where the majority of the project will be conducted, or the Branch Chief in the appropriate Department Branch, if the work will be conducted in statewide or across multiple Regions. In order to be considered for a grant award, proposal applications must be received by the due date stated in the PSN. Department Technical and Management advisory committees (TAC and MAC) review and rank the proposals before making recommendations to Department Leadership, which makes a final ranking decision. For successful proposals, the Department then prepares the final grant proposal package per federal guidelines in consultation with the applicant and submits to USFWS for final approval. Once approved by USFWS, the Department prepares and issues the payable grant to successful applicants. Grants are awarded for up to a 3-year period.

For information, contact:

Erin Chappell, Program Manager
Wildlife Branch
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife Branch - Nongame Wildlife Program
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411