50 CFR 222.103 - Federal/state cooperation in the conservation of endangered and threatened species.
(a) Application for and renewal of cooperative agreements.
(1) The Assistant Administrator may enter into a Cooperative Agreement with any state that establishes and maintains an active and adequate program for the conservation of resident species listed as endangered or threatened. In order for a state program to be deemed an adequate and active program, the Assistant Administrator must find, and annually reconfirm that the criteria of either sections 6(c)(1) (A) through (E) or sections 6(c)(1) (i) and (ii) of the Act have been satisfied.
(2) Following receipt of an application by a state for a Cooperative Agreement with a copy of a proposed state program, and a determination by the Assistant Administrator that the state program is adequate and active, the Assistant Administrator shall enter into an Agreement with the state.
(3) The Cooperative Agreement, as well as the Assistant Administrator's finding upon which it is based, must be reconfirmed annually to ensure that it reflects new laws, species lists, rules or regulations, and programs and to demonstrate that it is still adequate and active.
(b) Allocation and availability of funds.
(1) The Assistant Administrator shall allocate funds, appropriated for the purpose of carrying out section 6 of the Act, to various states using the following as the basis for the determination:
(i) The international commitments of the United States to protect endangered or threatened species;
(ii) The readiness of a state to proceed with a conservation program consistent with the objectives and purposes of the Act;
(iii) The number of federally listed endangered and threatened species within a state;
(iv) The potential for restoring endangered and threatened species within a state; and
(v) The relative urgency to initiate a program to restore and protect an endangered or threatened species in terms of survival of the species.
(2) Funds allocated to a state are available for obligation during the fiscal year for which they are allocated and until the close of the succeeding fiscal year. Obligation of allocated funds occurs when an award or contract is signed by the Assistant Administrator.
(c) Financial assistance and payments.
(1) A state must enter into a Cooperative Agreement before financial assistance is approved by the Assistant Administrator for endangered or threatened species projects. Specifically, the Agreement must contain the actions that are to be taken by the Assistant Administrator and/or by the state, the benefits to listed species expected to be derived from these actions, and the estimated cost of these actions.
(2) Subsequent to such Agreement, the Assistant Administrator may further agree with a state to provide financial assistance in the development and implementation of acceptable projects for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. Documents to provide financial assistance will consist of an application for Federal assistance and an award or a contract. The availability of Federal funds shall be contingent upon the continued existence of the Cooperative Agreement and compliance with all applicable Federal regulations for grant administration and cost accounting principles.
(i) The payment of the Federal share of costs incurred when conducting activities included under a contract or award shall not exceed 75 percent of the program costs as stated in the agreement. However, the Federal share may be increased to 90 percent when two or more states having a common interest in one or more endangered or threatened resident species, the conservation of which may be enhanced by cooperation of such states, jointly enter into an agreement with the Assistant Administrator.
(ii) The state share of program costs may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions, including real property, subject to applicable Federal regulations.
(4) Payments of funds, including payment of such preliminary costs and expenses as may be incurred in connection with projects, shall not be made unless all necessary or required documents are first submitted to and approved by the Assistant Administrator. Payments shall only be made for expenditures reported and certified by the state agency. Payments shall be made only to the state office or official designated by the state agency and authorized under the laws of the state to receive public funds for the state.