NOVA FAQ

This was taken from the Google Cache, as it's mysteriously disappeared off the website it belongs on.  This has been copied to ensure history isn't re-written to include the sudden inclusion of funding state parks or other non-nova appropriations.  All broken links have been removed; otherwise the verbiage is retained from the cached copy.

See the NOVA Grant Program website for more details.

Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program (NOVA) FAQ

1. What can NOVA grants be used for? 

  • Education & Enforcement (E&E) grants primarily help preserve opportunities by encouraging responsible recreational behaviors through positive management techniques.
  • Nonhighway Road (NHR) projects are intended to serve recreationists who, for the most part, recreate on or immediately adjacent to "nonhighway roads" (generally, roads not supported by state motor vehicle fuel taxes). They include boaters (nonmotorized - canoe, kayak, etc.), campers, those who drive for pleasure/sightseers, fishers, those who cut firewood and gather berries and mushrooms, hunters, and picnickers.
  • Nonmotorized (NM) grants primarily assist cross country skiing, equestrian, hiking, and mountain bicycling recreation in a backcountry environment.  Such activities must be accessed via a "nonhighway road" (generally, roads not supported by state motor vehicle fuel taxes.   See RCW [46.09].020 for the complete definition.
  • Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) grants primarily assist ATV, four-wheel drive, and dirt bike recreation in both backcountry and competition track environments. Snowmobiles are not included in this program.

2. Who may apply for NOVA funds? 
State agencies, counties, municipalities, federal agencies, and Indian tribes.

3. What are the deadlines? 
The latest information is available via this link: NOVA Grant Schedule. Also, see the Application Process Flow Chart.

4. Where does NOVA money come from? 
NOVA Program funds come from two sources:

  • Part of the excise tax paid by recreationists for fuel used on nonhighway roads, trails, and competition ORV areas.
  • Part of the vehicle permit fees paid to the state by ORV recreationists and ORV dealers. For further information, see RCW 46.09.

5. What happens to unused NOVA funds? 
"Unused" NOVA funds are either offered the next highest ranked project or held over for the next grant cycle.  Funds awarded may be unclaimed for many reasons, including an approved project using fewer dollars than anticipated or a proposed land acquisition where the applicant is unable to come to terms with the seller.

6. How do you decide who receives a grant? 
This program involves an open and highly competitive process in which funding relies heavily on an applicant's oral responses to a published set of Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) board approved evaluation questions. A sample presentation (available in zipped format) is available for review. The applicant makes this presentation before an advisory committee assembled by the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to help prepare funding recommendations. The committee, appointed by the RCO Director, is composed of government representatives and nonhighway road, nonmotorized, ORV citizen member recreationists. RCO staff presents these recommendations to the RCFB for approval.

7. What criteria do you use to evaluate projects? 
All evaluation criteria must be approved by the RCFB. To view evaluation questions, click on these links:

  • NOVA project selection (Manual 14, see Appendices)
  • E&E project selection (Manual 13)

Evaluation questions are based on: 

  • Need for a project.
  • Benefits of a project.
  • Technical merits of a project.
  • Degree to which the project addresses the policies in the NOVA Plan.

8. May I attend a funding decision meeting?  May I testify?
RCFB meetings are open to the public. In these meetings, projects are considered by the RCFB and public testimony isinvited. At this time, the board decides which projects will be offered funding and the order of "alternate" projects (that is, those that may be offered funding if higher ranked projects are unable to proceed).

9. Where can I get more information? 
For more information, continue to explore this web site, or click on one of the links below:

  • NOVA (NHR, NM, ORV) Manuals and Forms
  • E&E Program Manuals and Forms

10. What is the "fuel study" and how has it affected the NOVA program? 
[RCW 46.09.170] directs RCFB to distribute NOVA funds by formula for various program purposes.  Prior to the 2004 legislative revisions to this chapter, the formulas were largely based on decisions made within political arenas and were not necessarily representative of how NOVA-related fuel is used or responsive to the amount of funding needed within categories.

  • Fuel Study. SSB 6155, Sec. 346(3), Laws of 2001 directed RCFB to ".study the source and make recommendations on the distribution and use of funds provided to ORV and NHR recreational activities under RCW 46.09.170.  The study shall determine the relative portion of the motor vehicle fuel tax revenues that are attributable to vehicles operating off-road or on NHRs for recreational purposes. [and] shall include the types of vehicles and location of their use, the types of recreational activities, the types of recreational facilities used, and the recreational use of forest roads."
  • See the NOVA Fuel Use Study.
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