On May 2nd the first round of grant applications were submitted to be considered under the new WWRP requirements.
Project applications for the 2016 Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) are now compete! The WWRP is the state’s premier grant program to help state and local agencies, tribes, and nonprofit organizations conserve land for recreation, wildlife habitat, and working lands.
Over 230 applications were submitted by the May 2nd deadline and will be the first round of applications considered under new program requirements.
As you will recall, the Coalition collaborated with the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to conduct an extensive review and outreach process, culminating in the modernization of the 25-year old program. This year’s grant round will implement some of the most immediate changes.
Among other things, the modernized WWRP grant program now enables land trusts, a key player in conservation efforts, to compete for more funding for habitat conservation. The new program also boasts a simplified allocation formula for project applicants, revised farmland definitions, and added a new account designed to preserve working farm and forest lands. The remainder of the changes to the WWRP will be put into practice over the next two years.
Although this year’s proposed projects are still in a preliminary stage, the total number of projects submitted and funds requested exceed previous grant rounds. The Coalition has already begun working on cultivating a broad range of support for the new program so that outdoor funding is prioritized in the upcoming legislative session.
“Communities across Washington need the legislature to prioritize WWRP funding in the capital construction budget,” said Lou-Anne Daoust-Filiatrault, policy associate for the Coalition. “We hope the program’s remarkable bipartisan support last session will help us advocate for greater WWRP funding.”