All submitted applications are reviewed by teams of technical experts, who consider the following criteria in their assessment of each project:
Project Effectiveness (Efficacy)
- Is the project relevant to one or more of the Trust Foundation strategic objectives and is the project addressing an important conservation and/or enhancement/restoration issue?
- Would the differences be just as great without project implementation?
- Are the objectives/outcomes of the project (e.g., site changes, status reports, guidelines, species conservation, etc.) clearly defined?
- Is there an evaluation of project benefit (e.g., pre-treatment assessment or post-treatment sampling) or other measurables or indicators?
- Is there a clearly described extension component of the project (e.g., communicating results to resource managers, workshops presentations, etc.)?
- Does the project have adequate plans to communicate information gained?
- For public awareness, information, education projects, is the target audience identified? How will the information be distributed?
- Is the management problem clearly described to indicate the proponent understands the problem?
- Are the techniques/methods suggested the most appropriate.
- Are the proposed timelines reasonable to obtain the objectives?
- What are the credentials/expertise of the people who will be doing the project? Do the proponents have the capacity to deliver the project?
- If applicable, are plans in place to get appropriate permits or other authorizations?
- Are there any implications or effects on other associated species?
- Are there any factors/risks that might reduce the project’s likelihood of success?
- Is there public support for the project, e.g., local rod and gun clubs, local naturalists’ organizations?
Site Value (for Site-specific Projects)
- For conservation projects, is the site distinctive and/or important, i.e., does the ecosystem sustain species endemic to the site; how much of the ecosystem remains and how much does the site contribute to the amount remaining?
- For enhancement projects, is the site important for populations or, in the case of fish, does it have recreational value?
- Is the treatment of the site extensive enough to make a difference?
- What is the condition of the site, has it been extensively modified, thus reducing the ability to contribute to natural diversity, populations and/or recreational values?
- Is there value for money of the project?
- Are the benefits as described in the proposal in line with the cost of the project?
- Are there enough deliverables for the cost of the project?
- Are the project budget and/or in-kind rates realistic?
The technical review committees then make recommendations to the Board examines each application, and decides which will receive funding. Projects which do not receive approval are provided reasons for that decision which can often be used to improve the proposal for potential re-submission in future years.