Conservation and Development Grants and Loans

DNRC administers a wide range of grants and loans for Montana, assisting cities and towns, conservation districts, private landowners, and other groups in managing natural resource issues at the local level. 

Visit DNRC's Grants & Loans Page for information about funding opportunities, eligibility, and how to apply.

Current and Upcoming Opportunities

Currently accepting applications for:


American Rescue Plan Act 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (PUB. L. NO 117-2 SEC 602 (c)(1)(d)) provides state and local aid to make necessary investments in water and sewer infrastructure. The 67th Montana Legislature passed HOUSE BILL 632 which directed the federal funds available under the American Rescue Plan Act for use in Montana. Information on ARPA Water & Sewer Grants

ARPA grant applications are closed.  

Forestry Division - Grants

Currently accepting applications for:



Arbor Day grants are for the purchase and planting of one or more trees in the celebration of Arbor Day.  

All communities are eligible for a $350 grant. 

Tree City USA communities are eligible for a $850 grant. 

Grant opens 8:00 A.M.  11/16/22

Closes at 5:00 P.M. on 1/16/23

The grant requires submission of an Arbor Day Proclamation. Matching funds are encouraged, but not required. These are "tree-centric" grants, meaning trees are the only plant materials eligible for purchase.

This opportunity is provided by the State of Montana - Natural Resources Operations Fund

Eligible Organizations:

  • City or Township Governments
  • County Governments
  • Native American Tribal Governments
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher knowledge

For the most up to date grant guidelines, please visit the CD Resource Documents Site

To inquiry about ideas, and/or project feasibility, contact the CD Specialist for your District who will work with you to develop the proposal including a detailed scope, schedule, and budget.
Stephanie Criswell,, 406-444-6669
Mary Hendrix,, 406-444-4253
Veronica Grigaltchik,, 406-874-2046
Hailey Graf,, 406-437-4435

Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program

Private Grant Program


The private water grant program is in place to support water projects funded by nongovernment entities such as individuals, associations, and watershed groups.  Grants are available for projects that meet the following criteria:

1. The project benefits or develops a water resource;

2. The project is required by a government entity such as a county, conservation district or state agency;

3. Project costs are incurred before a grant agreement is signed;

4. The applicant is not a government entity

5. The applicant has not received a grant from the Private Grant Program in the last five years


1. Private water grants are available up to $10,000 or 50% of the project cost, whichever is least;

2. Reimbursement is based on actual provided receipts;

3. Reimbursement will be done on a one-time only basis;

4. Match funding includes professional services, contracted labor, and materials. Receipts will be requested;

5. The project has not been constructed yet;

6. The project should provide public benefits;

7. The project will be constructed in Montana;

8. The project will be an efficient use of a natural resource including water, energy, land, and air without diminishing the quality;

9. The project cannot be accomplished without the assistance of a loan or grant;

10. The project promotes the objectives of the Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program, i.e. projects that conserve, manage, develop or preserve Montana's renewable resources are eligible for funding.

DNRC Emergency Grant

Grant assistance is limited to only serious emergencies that meet program requirements. The emergency must pose an immediate threat to the beneficial management of a renewable resource, and all reasonable funding sources investigated before an emergency grant will be awarded. DNRC will award grants or loans for an emergency project that, if delayed until legislative approval can be obtained, will cause substantial damages or legal liability to the entity seeking assistance.

Typical types of projects have included:

  • dike failures,
  • emergency dam repairs, and
  • emergency repairs to municipal drinking water and wastewater systems.

Emergency grants are available to:

  • counties,
  • incorporated cities and towns,
  • conservation districts,
  • irrigation districts, and
  • water and sewer districts.

Aquatic Invasive Species Grants
IMPORTANT DATES: Grant Applications Due Thursday, January 19, 2023
For additional information about the AIS Grant Program and to access the AIS Grant Program guidelines, visit

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) administers the Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program in coordination with the Montana Invasive Species Council (MISC). DNRC provides fiscal management of the grant program and approves funding decisions. MISC manages the application process, reviews, and provides recommendations to the DNRC Director. Funding in the amount of $278,000/year for fiscal year FY 22 and FY23 was appropriated by the legislature for this program. DNRC may incur up to 10% of the yearly appropriation for administration of the program.

WHO WE FUND: AIS grants are available to Montana communities or local, state, tribal, or other entities within the state and to Montana-based non-governmental entities.
WHAT WE FUND: AIS grants are intended to increase local capacity and involvement to address AIS issues. Projects that address the following AIS management components are eligible and include:

  • Prevention
  • Early detection
  • Education and outreach
  • Research
  • Treatment

Current state-wide priorities that have been identified and vetted with former grantees and stakeholders for the upcoming AIS grant cycle include grants related to:

  • Monitoring / early detection projects to expand local capacity and involvement in multi- AIS taxa early detection efforts.
  • AIS outreach projects that expand AIS awareness at the local level.
  • AIS research projects.

Locally-led proposals that address the state-wide priorities will receive ranking preference, however all eligible grant requests will be evaluated and considered.
The state AIS program includes the Clean, Drain, Dry campaign and associated materials and products. Education and outreach projects must be coordinated with the state campaign for consistency, accuracy, and brand recognition to ensure maximum effectiveness. FWP will provide outreach materials for distribution and customization. For more information about AIS education and outreach, call Tom Woolf at 406-444-1230.
Preference will be given to: AIS species on the Montana Noxious Weed List and AIS under the authority of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) (see Appendix A); and to locally-led on-the-ground projects such as surveys and removal that result in measurable control of AIS.
The project must align with state AIS priorities, must show local support, and must be coordinated with related AIS efforts in the area and comprehensive invasive species plans. Priority will be given to local partnerships that demonstrate the administrative, financial, and management capacity to implement the project. The project must commit to using statewide AIS protocols and reporting.
While match funding is not required, it will be considered in the grant review and ranking process.

For the complete AIS Grant Program Guidelines, including the application process and ranking criteria, visit:
FUNDING LIMITS: Grants may be awarded for up to $50,000 for most projects depending on available funding, the intended activities, and based on a budget that is supported by a clear scope of work.
For Additional Information Contact:
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
Conservation and Resource Development Bureau
1625 Eleventh Avenue
P.O. Box 201601
Helena, Montana 59620-1601

Liz Lodman