July 18, 2008
In Reply Refer To:
1511 (172) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-161
Expires:   09/30/2009
To:                   All WO Officials, AFOs
                        Attn:    Grants & Agreements Specialists
                                    Partnership Coordinators
                                   Challenge Cost Share Coordinators
From:               Director, Office of the National Landscape Conservation System &
                        Community Partnerships
Subject:           Transmittal of Departmental Guidance and Supplemental FY2008 Guidance for
Coordinating Conservation Grants and Cooperative Agreements across Programs and Bureaus
Program Areas: Federal Financial Assistance, Challenge Cost Share
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) transmits Departmental guidance provided by Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason via Departmental memorandum.  
Policy/Action: This guidance provides a new coordination tool to maximize the efficient use of conservation funds transferred by Interior agencies through grants and cooperative agreements. The goal is to encourage coordination in situations where there is an opportunity to support complementary conservation priorities.
Timeframe:  This IM is effective upon issuance.
Budget Impact: None.
Background:  In 2007, the Deputy Secretary formed a Departmental grants policy group, as well as a work group, to assess the effectiveness of conservation grant and agreement program coordination and to make recommendations for improvement. The work group concluded that the Department would benefit from the establishment of general, flexible guidelines for bureaus to use in identifying new opportunities for strategic coordination of funding across programs and agencies.
The guidance transmitted here should be viewed as one tool with which to accomplish this goal. Please note that no portion of this guidance is intended to reduce existing program flexibility, nor is it intended to compromise the specific requirements of any Bureau program.
Please note that the 2008 Supplemental Guidance included here as Attachment 3 contains a list and descriptions of qualifying 2008 agency grant and cooperative agreement programs, a list of 2008 Departmental Conservation Priorities, and a section outlining general steps for implementing the guidance transmitted here.
In the future, BLM State Offices may be requested to provide examples of grants and/or agreements that were coordinated in a manner consistent with the provisions of this guidance.
The Office of the National Landscape Conservation System & Community Partnerships is in the process of hiring a National Partnership Coordinator and will continue to provide clarification and guidance on how to comply with Departmental guidelines regarding Conservation Grants and Cooperative Agreements.
 Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: BLM Manual Section 1511, Assistance Agreements.
Contact:  Questions regarding this IM may be directed to the BLM National Partnership Coordinator, Division of Education, Interpretation & Partnerships, at (202) 452-5078.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
James Murkin                                                              Robert M. Williams
Deputy Director                                                          Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
National Landscape Conservation System
   And Partnerships
3 Attachments