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CDFW Grants: 2021 Cannabis Restoration Grant Program Public Workshop

Application Deadline: May 14, 2021


Award Information

• Anticipated Total Funding: up to $2 million.

• Grant award notifications anticipated in Spring/Summer 2021

• Grant-funded project work must be complete by: Fall 2024


Eligibility Information

Eligibility under this Solicitation is defined by Fish and Game Code Section §1501.5(b). Eligible entities include: federal state, and local public agencies within California (including public universities); nonprofit organizations; and California Native American tribes as defined in the Public Resources Code section 21073. Other entities that are not eligible for funding under this Solicitation may work as subcontractors for an eligible applicant.


2.1 Priority: Cleanup and remediation of illicit cannabis cultivation impacts on qualified public lands

• Project Type: Upland refuse and infrastructure removal (UR) Cannabis cultivation site restorations that will reduce delivery of environmental contaminants, and waste to stream channels by removing refuse and infrastructure associated with illegal cannabis cultivation in upland habitat.

• Project Type: Riparian and stream refuse and infrastructure removal (RR) Cannabis cultivation site restoration of partially denuded banks adjacent to the stream, within the stream channel and riparian area, and restoration that will reduce delivery of environmental contaminants and waste to stream channels by removing refuse and infrastructure associated with illegal cannabis cultivation instream and within the riparian area. Bare or partially denuded banks eligible as a project shall be the result of cannabis cultivation vegetation removal, and cannabis cultivation grading. Projects can include the removal of stream crossings or water diversion infrastructure associated with illegal cannabis cultivation. The riparian area shall be defined as the area between a stream and the adjacent upland identified by soil characteristics and distinctive vegetation. It includes wetlands and those portions of floodplains and valley bottoms that support riparian vegetation.


Applicants need to concisely describe the extent to which watershed and aquatic, riparian, and/or upland habitat and native species have been impacted by cannabis cultivation and how the proposed project will accomplish the following objectives:

1) Restore aquatic, riparian, and/or upland native species habitat impacted by illicit cannabis cultivation sites on qualified public lands;

2) Protect aquatic, riparian, and/or upland native species from risks associated with illicit cannabis cultivation sites on qualified public lands;

3) Minimize risk of fish, wildlife, and human exposure to toxic materials associated with cannabis cultivation. 2.2 Priority: Enhance watersheds or communities

• Project Type: Road treatments (RT) Activities that may be eligible through this Solicitation under road treatments, which are necessary due to cannabis cultivation activities include, but are not limited to: road upgrading, road decommissioning, culvert and road crossing upgrades, and other sediment prevention delivery actions. All relevant activities must meet the criteria for the specific action as described in Parts IX, X, and XII in Volume II of the California Salmonid Stream Habitat Restoration Manual, (California Department of Fish and Game and Designing Watercourse Crossings for Passage of 100-Year Flood Flows, Wood, and Sediment (Cafferata et al, 2017)). If the proposal is funded, Final Plans (100% plans) accepted by CDFW technical/engineering staff will be required before implementation of the project.


• Project Type: Wildlife Enhancements (WE) Activities that may be eligible through this Solicitation under wildlife enhancements, which are necessary due to cannabis cultivation activities include but are not limited to: preventing accidental injury/death; habitat improvements for birds, bats, and pollinators; poisoning prevention with rodenticides, limiting human disturbance to wildlife, minimizing the spread of invasive species, and enhancing native habitat and habitat connectivity. Applicants need to concisely describe the extent to which watershed and aquatic, riparian, and/or upland habitat and native species have been impacted and how the proposed project will accomplish the following objectives:

1) Restore or enhance aquatic, riparian, and/or upland native species habitat or habitat connectivity impacted by unmaintained roads, culverts, erosion, and/or land conversion while conducting cannabis cultivation operations.

2) Protect aquatic, riparian, and/or upland native species from activities associated with cannabis cultivation operations.


3 PROJECT CATEGORIES Eligible project categories for this Solicitation are Planning, Refuse and Infrastructure Removal, and Implementation. Proposals may only include one project category. Each project category is described below.


3.1 Planning Planning grants provide funding for activities that will lead to a specific on-the-ground implementation project. Applicants should consider CDFW grant managers, regional liaisons, and engineers/geologists part of the stakeholder and/or technical advisory groups formed for the project. Inclusion of CDFW staff in planning level decisions streamlines the grant process for eventual implementation of the project. If the proposal seeks funding for permitting, a complete description of the permits needed and a timeline for obtaining them must be included in the proposal.


Eligible activities for Planning projects include, but are not limited to:

• Preparing plans or supplementing existing plans (e.g., watershed and habitat assessments) that will result in a specific project or set of projects

• Developing monitoring, adaptive management, climate change adaptation, and long-term management plans for a specific project

• Performing necessary studies and assessments, collecting baseline data, and developing project designs related to a specific site or physical project

• Obtaining the services of qualified licensed professional (refer to Section 3.9 for guidance on when licensed professionals are required)

• Acquiring permits

• Preparing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documents

• Conducting stakeholder and public meetings


3.2 Refuse and Infrastructure Removal Refuse and infrastructure removal grants fund categorically exempt CEQA and categorically excluded NEPA activities, which result in the cleanup and remediation of environmental damage in watersheds affected by cannabis cultivation on qualified public lands.


Eligible activities for Refuse and Infrastructure Removal projects include, but are not limited to:

• Finalizing site selection for refuse and infrastructure removal projects

• Submitting a Notice of Exemption and/or Categorical Exclusion

• Waste and infrastructure removal

• Acquiring permits

• Hazardous material disposal


3.3 Implementation Implementation grants fund construction and monitoring of shovel-ready restoration and enhancement projects. Applicants must demonstrate CEQA compliance, and submit 65% or higher design plans, Basis of Design Report, and technical studies.


Eligible activities for Implementation projects include, but are not limited to:

• Preparation of bid packages and subcontractor documents

• Development of final engineering design

• Finalizing permits

• Construction

• Monitoring


Please contact us for grant writing assistance.

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