The state Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO)—the government agency that manages the WWRP grant program—is considering changes in WWRP application criteria changes and this is your chance to weigh in!
The proposed changes are the result of a 6-month process with stakeholder input, including from the Coalition staff, to ensure the categories function as intended. The goals were as follows.
- Clarify and streamline evaluation criteria questions; reduce redundancy
- Maintain watershed-wide approach and priority on protecting ecologically diverse, functioning riparian habitat
- Ensure public access and community benefits are compatible with conservation goals
Urban Wildlife Habitat:
- Maintain focus on protecting native habitat; increase habitat connectivity and landscape permeability and enhance ecosystem services
- Increase number of applications, especially from “local entities”
- Align funding priority with close-to-home opportunities to experience nature
- Increase access to nature-based experiences for underserved communities
- Simplify and reduce redundancy in evaluation criteria questions
Process & Results
The stakeholder groups for both categories met monthly for six months, diving into the intent of the categories, the types of applications received and from where, and the application process. Throughout both processes equity, maximizing environmental and human benefits, and the impacts of climate change were frequently discussed.
The results—as well as a Recreation & Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) Climate Change Policy Statement and Application Questions—are available for public comment here.