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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Overview of the Application Process

Stage 1A - Submission of Pre-applications

As noted above, interested applicants must fill out and submit a pre-application by the advertised deadline. In addition to the applicant's contact information and a project location map, the pre-application should clearly but briefly explain what the applicant is intending to do on their land to enhance habitat for bog turtles. Pre-applications will be reviewed and scored by the DEC using criteria specific to bog turtle ecology and natural history (See Stage 1B - Pre-application Quantitative Scoring). All applicants will be notified of their application score no longer than sixty (60) days from the pre-application deadline. Applicants having a pre-application score of 25 points or higher will be invited to submit a Full project application.

To obtain a Landowner Incentive Program Pre-application:

Documents to be included with pre-application are:

  1. Map(s) of project area. Please include a locator map(s) of the project area(s) within NY State, and map(s) or aerial photographs of actual project area.
  2. Original, signed letters of permission from all involved landowners. Do not send deeds at this time. Proof of property ownership will be required at Stage 2 of the Full application process. All deeds will be verified by DEC through the contracting process.
  3. Copy of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, federal ID number and NYS charities registration number, if applicable.
  4. Copy of a resolution of support (only not-for-profit organizations). A sample resolution can be found in Attachment C in the Request for Applications (see "Protecting Bog Turtles on Private Lands" to view or download a PDF of the RFA). All resolution documents must be submitted to DEC within 30 days after the pre-application deadline or the pre-application will be disqualified.

Please send your completed and signed pre-application form and additional required documents to:

Wildlife Diversity Section
LIP Bog Turtle Program
NYSDEC
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4750

Stage 1B - Pre-application Quantitative Scoring (80 Points Maximum)

All eligible pre-applications post-marked by the July 1, 2010 deadline will be scored by the DEC program coordinator (the Coordinator) using quantitative criteria specific to bog turtle ecology. In addition to the information provided in the pre-application, data relating to the quantitative criteria will be verified and gathered through the DEC's Natural Heritage Program and through current high-definition aerial photography of New York State. These data will be used to calculate a point score for each of the following criteria:

Site History & Condition

Pre-application Scoring - Site History & Condition
Scoring Criteria Points
Site currently occupied by bog turtles (most recent record within the last 10 years) +15
Recently-occupied site with suitable habitat
(minimum of one historical record between the last 11 and 35 years)
+10
Site with suitable habitat, hydrologically-connected or adjacent to an existing or historic population +5
Site not currently or recently occupied with potential habitat 0
Site not currently or recently occupied, without potential habitat -10

Bog Turtle Population Viability Ranking

DEC ranks bog turtle populations at particular locations according to their risk of local extinction. Populations ranked as "A or B, viable" or "C, likely viable" are sufficiently abundant and have enough variability to be able to sustain themselves. Populations ranked as "E, extant" have been found but have not been assessed for viability. Populations ranked as "D, likely unviable" have been found to likely become extinct due to low numbers, variability, and lack of connection with other populations. Populations identified as "F, not present" have not been found despite systematic, intensive, and repeated surveys.

Pre-application Scoring - Population Viability Ranking
Viability Classification Points
Viable A or B-Ranked Occurrence with habitat NOT being managed +15
Viable A or B-Ranked Occurrence with habitat under management +5
Likely Viable (C) or Extant (E) C or E-Ranked Occurrence with habitat NOT being managed +10
Likely Viable (C) or Extant (E) C or E-Ranked Occurrence with habitat under management +3
Likely Viable (C) or Extant (E) NA - Site not assessed for viability 0
Likely Unviable (D) or Not Present (F) D or F-Ranked Occurrences -10

Size

Pre-application Scoring - Size
Acreage to be Restored or Managed Points
1 - 5 acres +5
6 - 10 acres +10
11 - 20 acres +15
Greater than 20 acres +20

Additional Benefits

Pre-application Scoring - Additional Ecological Benefits
Scoring Criteria Points
Benefits to other at-risk species on site +5
Eradication or significant control of exotic-invasive species +5
Restoration of site hydrology +5

Surrounding Landscape Context & Habitat Viability

There are two criteria in this scoring category:

Upland Wetland Buffer: the percentage (%) of natural cover within 150 meters of the border of a wetland complex.
Input Stream Buffer: the percentage (%) of natural cover within 25 meters of the banks of input streams up to 1-km upstream from the project site.

Pre-application Scoring - Landscape Context & Habitat Viability
Buffer Type Rank Percent (%) of Natural Cover Points
Upland Wetland Buffer Good More than 50% +10
Upland Wetland Buffer Neutral 25 to 50% 0
Upland Wetland Buffer Bad Less than 25% -10
Input Stream Buffer Good More than 50% +5
Input Stream Buffer Neutral 25 to 50% 0
Input Stream Buffer Bad Less than 25% -5

Stage 1 - Pre-application Quantitative Scoring Summary

Based on the above criteria, a total number of points will be tallied. Applications that score below the sum of 25 will be categorized as "Low", scores 25 or more but less than 50 will be categorized as "Medium", and scores equal to or greater than 50 will be categorized as "High". Applications categorized as "Low" will be returned to the applicant with an accompanying letter and will not be considered further. The DEC will contact applicants by mail whose pre-applications are categorized as "Medium" and "High" to invite the applicants to submit Full applications. Full applications received by a predetermined deadline will move on to "Stage 2 - Qualitative Evaluation".

Stage 2A - Submission of Full Applications

Pre-applications that received a score of 25 points or higher will be notified by DEC via U.S. mail and invited to submit a Full application. Full applications must be submitted to DEC within the time frame identified in their invitation to submit a Full application.

A Full Project Application must include the following:

  1. Project Narrative - Outline for Full Applications (see "Full Application Narrative Outline");
  2. Statement of consistency with the Biological Opinion - The applicant must adequately address how they will meet each requirement of the Biological Opinion (see link to biological opinion on the page "What Applicants Need to Know");
  3. A regulatory review describing what permits will be necessary to accomplish the project. This will factor significantly into the Project Readiness Score during the Qualitative Evaluation Phase (see "What Applicants Need to Know"); and
  4. Budget detail and project schedule. Both an itemized budget and project schedule are required (see "What Applicants Need to Know" for eligible and ineligible costs and "Full Application Narrative Outline" for a sample budget table).

Stage 2B - Qualitative Evaluation of Proposed Projects

Full applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of expert State staff having knowledge of bog turtle ecology and associated habitat conservation needs. Review panel members will individually rate each proposal in five qualitative categories as "High", "Medium", or "Low". A ranking of "High" will be equivalent to 5 points, "Medium" = 3 points, and "Low" = 1 point. Review staff will assess each project in the five categories listed below.

Species Conservation Benefit

Full Application Scoring - Species Conservation Benefit
Scoring Criteria Rank
Project will significantly improve local conditions for bog turtles. This site is in high need of additional protection or management and if this project is not implemented, the site is highly likely to become unsuitable in one to three years. High
Project will moderately improve local conditions for bog turtles. This site is in moderate need of additional protection or management and if this project is not implemented, the site is likely to become unsuitable in three to five years. Medium
Project will minimally improve conditions for bog turtles. This site is in minimal need of additional protection or management and if this project is not implemented, the site may become unsuitable after five years. Low

Monitoring and Reporting

Full Application Scoring - Monitoring & Reporting
Scoring Criteria Rank
The project has a strong and likely effective monitoring component to prevent damage to bog turtles and to follow up on habitat restoration. High
The project has a moderate and likely effective monitoring component to prevent damage to bog turtles and to follow up on habitat restoration. Medium
The project has a weak or likely ineffective monitoring component to prevent damage to bog turtles and to follow up on habitat restoration. Low

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost effectiveness for this grant program is assessed as the average of the cost per acre and budget evaluations. Cost per acre is calculated as the total cost identified in the Full application divided by the acreage to be restored or improved. The cost per acre of one application will be compared against the cost per acre distribution of all other applications based on the criteria described in the following table. If the cost per acre cannot be determined from the information given, a "Low" value will be assigned.

Full Application Scoring - Cost-Effectiveness
Scoring Criteria Rank
Cost per acre within lowest 1/3 of applications High
Cost per acre within middle 1/3 of applications Medium
Cost per acre within highest 1/3 of applications Low

Budget

Full Application Scoring - Budget
Scoring Criteria Rank
Budget is clear and complete, costs claimed are eligible, necessary and competitive when compared to other proposals or market rate. High
Budget is mostly clear and complete, costs claimed are eligible and necessary and about average as compared to other proposals or market rate. Medium
Budget is not clear, some costs appear ineligible or necessary or costs are significantly higher than for other proposals or the market rate. Low

Readiness

How prepared is the applicant to accomplish the project, including, but not limited the criteria listed in the following table.

Full Application Scoring - Readiness
Scoring Criteria Rank
Project will not require a state or federal permit or permits have already been obtained. High
Project will require a permit(s), but permits will likely be issued. Medium
Project will require permits or proposal is unclear and permits will not be readily issued. Low

Stage 2- Full Application Qualitative Scoring Summary

Based on the above criteria, a total number of points will be tallied. Scores that total below the sum of 10 will be categorized as "Low", scores of 11 to 20 will be categorized as "Medium" and scores of 21 to 25 will be categorized as "High".

Stage 3 - Assignment of Funding Priorities and Method of Award

Once DEC completes both the quantitative scoring (Stage 1) and qualitative evaluation (Stage 2) for all eligible applications, projects will be classified into priority levels, according to the following matrix:

Assignment of Funding Priority Based on Quantitative & Qualitative Scores
Stage 1: Quantitative Score Stage 2:
High Qualitative Score
Stage 2:
Medium Qualitative Score
Stage 2:
Low Qualitative Score
High (50 points or more) Priority 1 Priority 3 Priority 5
Medium (25-49 points) Priority 2 Priority 4 Priority 6
Low (Less than 25 points) N/A* N/A N/A

*N/A = Pre-applications that were ranked as "low" during Quantitative Scoring will not be considered for selection.

Projects will be selected for funding in descending score order within each priority level, beginning with Priority Level 1, then 2, then 3, until available funding is exhausted.

In an unlikely event that two applications receive the same score and there is only sufficient remaining funds for one project, the DEC will decide which application to fund based on the cost efficiency of the application.

Applications classified as Priority Level 4 will be considered individually by highest to lowest score, and will only be funded if the total amount awarded for Priority 1 through 3 projects for the year is 10% or less of the total available funds remaining for the Program.

Applications that are not funded in Priority Level 4 and those in Priority Levels 5 and 6, will be returned to the applicant with an explanation of why their application did not score well. Applicants may revise their unfunded applications and resubmit them during the next available open application period.