Frequenty Asked Questions
- What are the main functions of the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB).
What types of projects will the WCB fund?
- Who is eligible to receive grant funds?
- How are projects selected and prioritized?
- What types of Project Costs can be funded?
Is there a calendar/schedule for submitting project proposals?
- When and how often does the WCB approve projects?
- Is there a match requirement?
- Is there a limit to the amount of funding that can be requested?
- What types of Acquisition projects does the WCB fund?
- How are property values determined?
- Will the WCB pay more than the appraised Fair Market Value?
- What are the requirements for an Appraisal?
- Does the WCB fund appraisal, title and escrow costs?
- Will the WCB provide funding for Mitigation properties?
- Does the WCB provide funding for property acquired under the threat of eminent domain?
The WCB is a State of California Board whose primary purpose is to approve funding for wildlife habitat protection, restoration and wild-oriented public access projects. The WCB staff work with project proponents to help develop and evaluate projects proposal to determine if they are appropriate for funding.
The WCB manages eight (8) programs that provide funding opportunities for different types of habitat conservation projects. A description of these programs can be found on the WCB home page, on the left hand column, under the Programs link. Here you can find information on the eligibility requirements and the application process for each program (As a result of the passage of Proposition 84, the WCB will be developing a new program in 2006, for forest conservation and protection projects).
Most WCB programs allow funding to federal, state and local public agencies and non-profit organizations. For additional specifics on each program please refer to the program descriptions on the WCB web page.
The WCB relies on the biological expertise of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to help recommend and prioritize projects. It is recommended all project proponents contact their regional CDFW office for project review and recommendation. A listing of the regional offices can be accessed under the WCB, Land Acquisition Program web page link.
For the most part the WCB only funds capital outlay costs. These are also referred to as implementation, purchase and construction costs. The WCB does not fund non-project specific planning, research, and studies. When evaluating projects the WCB prefers projects that are ready for implementation, with all or most of the planning, design, permitting or other pre-implementation costs completed.;
Project proposals can be submitted at anytime during the year.
The Board meets four times a year, in the months of February, May, August and November to approve projects. A calendar of the actual dates can be fond on our web page. All necessary project agreements should be executed and in the hand of WCB project manager at least 3-2 months prior to being considered for approval by the Board.
Most programs do not require a specific match requirement, however in almost all cases projects that include significant funding matches from other sources will be evaluated more favorably.
For Acquisitions there is no set limit on grants; however because the WCB has a limited amount of funding, large dollar projects are more difficult to fund because they may impact and take funding away from other projects. All projects are evaluated in terms of their relative cost to habitat value.
For stand alone restoration, enhancement and public access projects, a general rule of thumb is a maximum limit of $250,000. However once again based on the return of cost to habitat restoration, larger restoration projects can be proposed and considered.
The majority of the acquisition projects fall under two main categories, acquisition of fee title or acquisition through conservation easements. In some cases other property rights, such as water, can be separated out and acquired.
The WCB requires fair market value appraisal be prepared and approved by the Department of General Services for all acquisitions.
The WCB requires narrative appraisals completed by certified State of California Appraisers for all acquisitions. In some cases where federal matching funds are included the appraisal should be completed according to Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition. Project proponents should contact the assigned WCB project manager to determine appraisal requirements.
The WCB does not fund these activities under its grants.
No, however in some cases the WCB may partner on projects that include a mitigation component, so long as the mitigation component can be clearly delineated and separated from WCB funding. For example if mitigation funds are available to acquire 100 acres of habitat, and the property contains an additional 50 acres of prime habitat that can be acquired using additional funds, the WCB may provide funding for the additional 50 acres.
The WCB only funds acquisitions from willing sellers.