Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists 2017

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in cooperation with its federal partners, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and Forest Service (USFS) announce an initiative to connect youth to the outdoors by providing financial support for conservation employment programs. The initiative, Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists, brings together public and private partners to support those organizations that are developing innovative conservation job opportunities for youth on public lands. These job opportunities, in turn, expose young people, particularly urban, tribal and minority youth, to the natural world and career opportunities available in conservation.

In 2017, approximately $1.5 million ($1,000,000 BLM, $225,000 Reclamation and $350,000 USFS (subject to appropriations) will be available for matching grants nationwide. The funding is part of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) effort to provide meaningful employment opportunities to young Americans to protect, restore, and enhance our nation’s great outdoors. Project work funded through this program is restricted to habitat and species restoration projects that directly benefit BLM, Reclamation and USFS facilities, lands, programs or mission.

Proposals are due by November 17, 2016 by 11:59 pm. Learn more about the grant opportunity here.  


The geographic focus is national, with an emphasis on projects located on or directly benefiting the land, facilities, programs, or mission of BLM, Reclamation and/or USFS.

Reclamation’s funding ($225,000) will be available for projects located within Reclamation’s 17-state area. (See Appendix A for examples of Reclamation Youth projects).


Priority for grants will be given to projects that successfully achieve the following objectives:

  • Innovative full-time or part-time conservation job opportunities (minimum 80 hours per youth or young veterans*) that include conservation education, particularly urban and minority youth;
  • Hands-on implementation of on-the-ground restoration, stewardship, monitoring, and other conservation related projects to benefit BLM, Reclamation, and/or USFS, adjacent areas, facilities and programs directly benefiting the agency’s mission;
  • Partnership building with diverse entities including state and local agencies, urban organizations, tribes, non-profits, corporations, and foundations to leverage federal dollars awarded with non-federal contributions to the project;
  • Mentorship and training opportunities for youth with natural resource professionals, particularly BLM, Reclamation, and/or USFS

* This program defines “youth” as a person aged 16-25 years old; veterans may be up to age 35.


All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.
  1. Go to to register in our Easygrants online system. New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login). Enter your applicant information.
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application. Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.