Wild & Scenic Rivers Stewardship Partnership Funding

The application deadline for this funding opportunity has passed. Questions about an existing application should be directed here.

Click here to read Katherine Baer’s latest blog post on the success of this partnership and click here for USFS’s executive summary with further details on this work.

River Network and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are excited to announce a funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations working on stewardship activities on USFS administered Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR). Partnership funding will range from $5,000-$10,000 per award for work occurring between August 1 and December 31, 2019.

To determine whether your Wild and Scenic River is administered by the USFS and find the local USFS contact, please see this USFS spreadsheet.

Goals of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Stewardship Partnership Funding

Building on the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018, groups around the country are seeking to further protect and enhance these special rivers across the country and engage a broader constituency in doing so. River and riparian stewardship is vital to many organizations and these efforts – e.g. water quality monitoring, river cleanups, in-channel habitat restoration and invasive species management – are often the most effective ways to garner interest from the public and engage with management agencies and our communities to better protect these rivers. This shared stewardship approach, between local groups and the USFS is integral to ensuring that values of these designated rivers and streams are both protected and enhanced.

Stewardship Activities

This funding is for stewardship activities, which include but are not limited to:

  • Stream monitoring/citizen science (including development of new projects and initiatives that build capacity for longer term data collection)
  • River cleanups
  • Environmental education and outreach
  • River channel restoration and enhancement
  • Promoting native fish populations
  • Riparian habitat restoration
  • Invasive species management
  • Stormwater/sewage discharge management
  • Trail delineations
  • “Leave no trace” trainings
  • Erecting signage

Grant Process

Applications for this funding can be submitted via the form, below, and include:

  • A description of the project, timeline, a budget narrative, and a description of matching funds (at least 50% of total request);
  • A letter of support from the applicable responsible officer(s) of the forest or district that is responsible for administering the Wild and Scenic River(s) that is the focus of the proposed work (e.g. District Ranger or Forest Supervisor)


  • Grant applications are due by COB July 3rd, 2019.
  • Awards will be made no later than August 1st, 2019.
  • Stewardship activities can take place through December 31st, 2019.
  • Final reports will be due to River Network by January 30th, 2020.

Who Qualifies for these Grants

How Much Money is Available

There is currently a total of $50,000 available. Groups are eligible to apply for one grant of $5,000-$10,000.

Matching Funds

There is a matching contribution requirement of at least 50% of the award (e.g. if requesting $10,000, there must be a match of at least $5,000). The match may be accomplished through cash, contributed funding and/or in-kind contribution. Contributed funding in this context is where the member organization pays for a portion of the project through actual cash outlays for salaries, equipment, supplies or other expenses. In-kind contributions are generally for volunteer labor or use of existing equipment and vehicles.

Evaluation Criteria

River Network and USFS will select projects based on criteria including: what will be accomplished and how that furthers the values of WSRs, support from the District Ranger or Forest Supervisor, the number of people engaged, with an emphasis on reaching communities new to Wild and Scenic Rivers, and how the project provides benefits to both rivers and people.

For questions, please contact Katherine Baer (kbaer@rivernetwork.org).

Further Information:

U.S. Forest Service Wild and Scenic Rivers