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

                   Aquatic Invasive Species Grants: Opens 8/1/21 - Closes 11/3/21 

                   Watershed Management Grants:  Opens 9/15/21 - Closes 11/01/21



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

Current and Upcoming Opportunities

       Currently accepting applications for Minimum Allocation Grants

       Currently accepting applications for Competitive Grants

       Currently accepting applications for ARPA Irrigation Grants


Watershed Management Grants (WMG) Grant Applications Due by Monday, November 1, 2021 by 5 p.m. 


The Watershed Management Grant (WMG) Program goals are to provide financial support for the development and implementation of locally led watershed related planning and capacity building activities that conserve, manage, develop, or protect state natural resources. These goals are aligned with Montana Code Annotated (MCA) Title 85, Chapter 1, Part 6.

For more information see the Watershed Management Guidance.


  • Local government, state government, and tribal government entities.
  • Non-profit entities may apply with local government sponsorship or non-government entity may apply with a 50% match requirement.


Local government, state government, tribal government and sponsored non-profit entities. DNRC will provide 100% reimbursement for eligible activities. All Applicants have a required 1:1 match for equipment expenses.

Unsponsored non-government entity: A 50% match is required. Match shares may be in-kind services or cash. 

  • 1:1 match requirement for equipment expenses.


Up to $35,000 per grantee, per biennium, depending on available funding, intended activities, and is based on a budget that is supported by a clear scope of work. 

Additional information about the WMG Program and to access the WMG guidelines,  application examples, and ranking criteria, click here. 

Please contact the program manager with any application questions or if you would like to have your application reviewed prior to submittal. 

Jorri Dyer

WMG Program Manager


Aquatic Invasive Species Grants

IMPORTANT DATES: Grant Applications Due Wednesday, November 3, 2021 by 5 p.m.

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 including eDNA research related to dreissenid mussel early detection addressing eDNA Science Advisory Panel recommendations.

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. E&O 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 Liz Lodman at 406-444-9940.

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
Resource Development Bureau
1625 Eleventh Avenue

P.O. Box 201601
Helena, Montana 59620-1601
Phone: 406-444-6668
FAX: 406-444-6721

Stephanie Criswell

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.   

Round 2 applications are due to DNRC January 14, 2022.

Applications are limited to $2 million/project.

Projects that received a competitive grant award may not reapply for the same project in Round 2. Specifically, activities and tasks included in an application that received an award in the first round may not be included in a project application for funding in the second round of competitive grants.

Grant application is open through January 1, 2023.