December 18, 2014
The 2014 legislative session transferred the “Deer Tag”, formerly known as the Sportsman's National Land Trust, to the Foundation. In transferring the administration of this tag to the Foundation, the legislative intent is to focus funding efforts on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The FWC will not be the exclusive beneficiary of tag funds. A portion of the funds will be available to all eligible applicants.
“Increasing from 25 percent to 75 percent, the amount that must be used to fund programs and projects within the state that preserve open space and wildlife habitat, promote conservation, improve wildlife habitat, and establish open space for perpetual use of the public is what got me excited about the new tag,” said Florida Sportsman magazine Publisher Blair Wickstrom, also a member of the grants committee for the new tag.
“I wanted to personally get involved to make sure the state's largest online hunting community, the Florida Sportsman Hunt Camp Forum, got a voice in how the funds from the plate get used,” said Wickstrom. “I'd like to see the revenue from the plate provide sportsmen with permanent access for hunting and fishing while improving habitat through cooperation with other conservation organizations. Having the Wildlife Foundation of Florida taking over the administration and grant process of the deer tag is a big win for the sportsmen in the state.”
The Foundation has established a new participative and transparent grant process driven by a representative Grant Committee. The duties of the Grant Committee are to set priorities for each funding cycle, to receive and evaluate all grant proposals and make funding recommendations to the Foundation's Board of Directors.
The members of the Grants Committee are:
Newton Cook, Board of Directors Future of Hunting in Florida
Tom Knight, South Florida Field Representative, National Rifle Association
Blair Wickstrom, Publisher at Florida Sportsman
Jim McClellan, Avid Outdoorsman and Blogger
Denise Davis Helms, Vice President and Secretary of the Florida State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, President and event coordinator of Women in the Outdoors, Quail Creek
Lane Stephens, Future of Hunting in Florida and Florida Legislative Sportsman's Caucus Staff Director
Baxter Troutman, former State Representative and President of Labor Solutions
Diane Eggeman, FWC Division of Hunting and Game Management – Committee Advisor
Applicants must submit proposals for WFF grant support to the Grant Committee for consideration. The Grant Committee will submit a prioritized list of proposals to the Foundation's Board of Directors for final approval. The project period will be from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016 (18-months).
Eligible non-FWC applicants include units of federal, state or local government, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, volunteer organizations (i.e., “friends” groups). The Grant Committee may, at its sole discretion, consider proposals from private for-profit applicants as well.
Two types of projects will be funded during the 2015-16 grant cycle:
1. 50% of the available funds will be used to support youth hunting and outdoor conservation education and programs in Florida. This portion of the grant process will be open to all applicants. For non-FWC grant requests, the grant amounts are limited to $2500.
2. 50% of the available funds will be used to improve access and amenities on hunting lands. Examples include cleaning stations, food plots, and other measures to benefit hunters and provide better access and amenities for visitors. These requests will take the form of grants submitted by FWC to the Grant Committee.
The following schedule outlines the dates for appropriate action for FY 2015-16 Wildlife Foundation of Florida Grant Proposals.
January 30, 2015: Deadline for all proposals (by 4:00 pm EST):
- FWC staff will prepare and submit project proposals to their DOI director.
- Non-FWC applicants must submit proposals to Mr. Bill Bibby, Foundation's Grant Director via email at Bill.Bibby@MyFWC.com.
February 9, 2015:
-DOI directors submit prioritized list of proposals via email to Bill Bibby.
February 16, 2015:
-All received proposals sent to Grant Committee.
TBA February 2015:
-Grant Committee meets to determine final funding priority list.
March 1, 2015:
-Priority List and all proposals distributed to WFF Board of Directors for review.
TBA Spring 2015:
-WFF Board meeting for project approval and grant awards.
Mr. Bill Bibby 850/617-9650 Bill.Bibby@MyFWC.com
Click link for Deer Tag Form
Deer Tag Grant Form