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 Water & Sewer Minimum Allocation Applications are due by November 1, 2022.  


Forestry Division - Grants

Currently accepting applications for:


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DNRC - Forestry Division

Request for Proposals

Montana Community Wildfire Protection Plan Grant


Introduction & Intent

The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation has funding available to help Montana’s counties update and modernize their Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP). This funding is available to counties with: 

1. An outdated (>10 years old) CWPP, 

2. High wildfire risk, as determined by the Montana Wildfire Risk Assessment, and 

3. A commitment to a collaborative update process.

The DNRC recommends that interested counties refer to the DNRC’s “Community Wildfire Protection Plan Guidebook” as they prepare their proposal for submission. This document provides recommendations and insights to the CWPP update process and was written as a companion piece to this request for proposals. 

If you have any questions about the RFP or the grant funds available, please contact julia.berkey@mt.gov. 


Eligible Applicants & Activities

This funding is available for counties to undergo a collaborative process to produce a modern, updated CWPP. Eligible activities towards this end include, but are not limited to, hiring a facilitator, travel costs associated with community engagement visits, meeting supplies, education & outreach materials, and necessary technology products. No equipment can be purchased with grant funds.

Only counties in Montana are eligible to receive this funding for county-wide CWPP updates. The county may partner with a significant or involved collaborator to prepare the application material and serve as an additional point of contact. The county, however, must ultimately serve as the recipient if awarded grant funding.


Award & Funding Guidelines

This grant is offered as a subaward under a federal award from the United States Department of Agriculture – Forest Service made to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Forestry Division. The DNRC does not require a match for this grant funding, but applicants who are able to demonstrate leveraged funding sources (federal or non-federal) that will contribute to CWPP updates will be given priority. This includes in-kind contributions of time and effort, as well as goods or services. 

The DNRC anticipates awarding up to $50,000 per project for five or more projects. Award amounts may vary due to funding availability and the number and quality of applications received. The DNRC reserves the right to offer a different grant amount than proposed by applicants. The DNRC will provide payments of awarded funds on a reimbursement basis.

All grants from this program shall be considered final awards to the project(s) selected.  If project costs increase beyond what was projected at the time of application, the grantee is responsible for finding additional funding from sources outside this program. Grantees will be required to submit the final work product (written documents and spatial data) produced by this funding assistance as the final report to the DNRC.


Proposal Review

Proposals will be reviewed and prioritized collaboratively by a panel which will include, but is not limited to, representatives from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the United States Department of Agriculture. DNRC reserves the right to request further information from any applicant as needed. The panel members will independently evaluate responses. Panel members will jointly discuss their evaluations and a consensus will be reached as to which project(s) may receive funding. 

The first panel review will take place after the initial round closes July 31, 2022. After the initial round of proposals are reviewed, if funding remains, additional proposals will be reviewed in the order received up until the final submission deadline of September 30, 2022. The panel may choose to immediately award funding to a proposal, may reject a proposal for funding or may choose to place a proposal in a pending approval status. Pending approval proposals may or may not be subsequently awarded funds and may be passed over for funding in favor of a later submission that the panel deems to have more merit.


Funding Notification & Grant Disbursement

Applicants will receive a notification of the status of the proposal immediately following completion of the review process or subsequent change in status. Following a notification of award funding, the DNRC will work with the awardee to complete the grant agreement process as soon as possible. Applicants must consult with the DNRC before incurring any grant-related expenses, as pre-award costs are not allowed.

The grant agreement is a critical step in the award process and a signed grant agreement is a required provision. Prior to execution of a grant of federal funds, successful applicants must provide a current Unique Entity Identifier number. The State of Montana requires prospective grantees to meet specific insurance requirements and provide documentation of insurance before agreement execution.

In accordance with Montana Code Annotated section 49-3-207, the grantee agrees that the hiring of persons to perform work on the project will be made on the basis of merit and qualifications and there will be no discrimination based upon race, color, religion, creed, political ideas, sex, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, or national origin by the persons performing work on the project.


Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program

Private Grant Program

A. PROGRAM PURPOSE:

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

B. FUNDING REQUIREMENTS:

1. Private water grants are available up to $5,000 or 25% 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.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 provided 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.   

MINIMUM ALLOCATION GRANTS
Grant application is open through January 1, 2023.  

DNRC Reclamation and Development Grants Program - Planning Grants

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) manages the Reclamation and Development Grants Program (RDGP) to fund projects that indemnify the people of the state for the effects of mineral development on public resources and that meet other crucial needs to protect Montana’s environment. Crucial state need projects must serve the public interest and the total environment of the citizens of Montana.  The purposes of the reclamation and development grants program are to:

  • repair, reclaim, and mitigate environmental damage to public resources from nonrenewable resource extraction; and,
  • develop and ensure the quality of public resources for the benefit of all Montanans.

The purpose of the RDGP planning grant program is to assist local governments with planning and preparation for these types of projects.

Applicant Eligibility

Reclamation and Development Grants Program planning grants are available to city, county, or other local political subdivisions or Tribal governments within the state.  Federal agencies, private corporations, non-profits and individuals are not eligible to receive RDGP planning grant funding.

Project Eligibility

Proposed planning grants must plan for projects that will provide benefits in one of two categories:

1. Mineral development reclamation projects must:

  • Reclaim land, water or other resources adversely affected by mineral development; or
  • Mitigate damage to public resources caused by mineral development; or
  • Research, demonstrate, or provide technical assistance to promote the wise use of Montana minerals; or
  • Investigate and remediate sites where hazardous wastes or regulated substances threaten public health or the environment; or
  • Research to assess existing or potential environmental damage resulting from mineral development.

2. Crucial state need: Projects that meet a crucial state need must prevent or eliminate severe and unacceptable damage to natural resources or capture extraordinary public benefit that would otherwise be lost. They must have a regional or statewide importance. Public benefit from implementation of this type of project must directly relate to natural resources.

Funding Limits

Grants may be awarded for any amount up to $50,000, depending on the intended planning activities. Applicants must demonstrate that funding is not available through other reasonable sources. Matching funds are not required, but applications will be evaluated on the amount of match funding. Match funds may be in-kind contributions. An applicant may submit planning grant applications for more than one project.


This application must be submitted by someone within the applying entity (city, county, conservation district, etc.).


Application Materials and Forms are available on the DNRC Planning Grants page.


Questions?  Contact:

Jorri Dyer, Jorri.Dyer2@mt.gov, 406-444-6839