The Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) program provides grants to at-risk communities to develop or revise a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and to carry out projects described in a CWPP that is less than 10 years old.
CWDG is authorized through the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA) and provides $1 billion for this program over a five-year period (fiscal years 2022 through 2026). CWDG prioritizes at-risk communities that are in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential, are low-income, and/or have been impacted by a severe disaster.
CWDG helps communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI) implement the three goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy):
- Resilient Landscapes – Landscapes, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries are resilient to fire, insect, disease, invasive species and climate change disturbances, in accordance with management objectives.
- Fire Adapted Communities – Human populations and infrastructure are as prepared as possible to receive, respond to, and recover from wildland fire.
- Safe, Effective, Risk-based Wildfire Response – All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions.
On July 31, 2023, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is again accepting applications for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program. Read the press release.
The portal opened for applications on July 31, 2023, and closed on November 4, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
For applications and more information, please get in touch with your state point of contact.
- PDF application for Round 2 - The PDF version is not required but is available to help applicants compile all information offline before adding their application information to the portal application.
- Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) can be found on grants.gov.
- Tribes NOFO: USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-TRIBES
- Southern NOFO: USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-SGSF
- Northeast/Midwest NOFO: USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-NEMW
- West NOFO: USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-CWSF
- FY2023 CWDG Applicant Webinars - Community Wildfire Defense Grant webinar for potential applicants who are interested in applying for this grant program. The USDA Forest Service will go over the grant program and the process for submitting an application. The application process in Round 2 is the same for all applicants (versus Round 1, where there were different processes for different regions), and any applicant in any region, area, or Tribe may attend any webinar; they will all have the same content; however, the August 10 Webinar will be more focused on Tribal applications and Tribal application Q&A.
- CWDG Grant Writing Workshop - A grant writing workshop facilitated by Western Region Program Managers to help potential applicants through the grant application. The workshop will cover the application process, answering the questions effectively and finalizing responses, as well as helpful tips for improved grant writing. Specific grant program questions and eligibility questions will not be covered.
On March 20, 2023, the White House and USDA Forest Service announced the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Community Wildfire Defense Grant program project list. See the USDA press release and the Forest Service CWDG Webpage for more information.
In the first round of this program, a total of 100 projects are being funded for a total of $197 million in 22 states and seven tribes throughout the United States. The full list of funded projects can be found here.
- Portal opened on July 29 and closed on October 7, 2022. Scoring occurred in October and November 2022.
- Regional ranked list submitted to the USDA Forest Service Washington Office for integration into a final national list in December 2022. To view western region applications from Round 1, view the portal.
- USDA Forest Service CWDG Program Webpage
- USDA’s Press Release Announcement
- CWSF Blog Posts
- CWDG Opens for Second Round of Funding (August 23, 2023)
- $197 Million Invested in State, Private, and Tribal Lands Through Community Wildfire Defense Grants (March 22, 2023)
- National Association of State Foresters' (NASF) Press Release (March 22, 2023)
- NASF Press Release (July 26, 2022)