The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry has received a Notice of Funding Opportunity to participate in the Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG), funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and administered by the USDA Forest Service in partnership with state forestry agencies.
This five-year program, beginning in 2022, allocated $5 billion to help communities at risk of wildfires fund projects that support the three goals in the National Cohesive Strategy:
- Restoring and maintaining landscapes
- Creating fire-adapted communities
- Improving wildfire response
Applicants: Communities, tribes, states, and non-profits are all eligible.
Land: Project funding can be used for private, local government, homeowners’ associations, state government, and tribal lands. Federal lands are not eligible except for tribal trust lands.
Priorities: Priority will be given to areas with high or very high wildfire hazard potential, low-income and underserved communities, and those impacted by disaster (e.g., blowdown).
CWDG Dashboard was recently developed by the Wildfire Risk to Community's project team. Applicants can enter their county, city, or tribal area to get specific information related to grant priorities that they can copy and paste into the application, such as low income, disaster impacts, wildfire hazard potential, and cost-share waiver eligibility.
Applications are being accepted for two categories
- Community Wildfire Protection Plan Development or Update
- Awards up to $250,000
- 10% cost-share match*
- Community Wildfire Protection Plan Project Implementation
- Awards up to $10 million
- 25% cost-share match*
*Full match waivers are available for underserved communities!
There will be four webinars to learn more about the application process. Applicants in any region, area, or Tribe may attend any webinar. However, August 10 will be more focused on Tribal applications and Q&A.
Please register in advance for the webinar you'd like to attend. All webinars will take place on Zoom.
- August 4, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Central. Register
- August 9, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Central. Register
- August 10, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Central. Register
- August 15, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Central. Register
The second round of the CWDG Program is now accepting applications.
The application deadline is 10:59 p.m. central time on October 31, 2023.
This year, applicants will use a new CWDG portal to apply.
- Applicants must contact their regional Firewise Specialist for a unique link to apply.
- View the guidance documents and instructions on applying for the Northeast-Midwest CWDG Grant Opportunity (opportunity number USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-NEMW) on grants.gov.
Important: Applicants must also register on sam.gov to apply. Apply promptly; this registration can take several weeks or more to complete. Registration in sam.gov will create a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) for applying through grants.gov.
Contact your DNR Regional Firewise Regional Specialist for any questions.