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

2023 Forest Stewardship Grants Request for Proposals -The current conditions of Montana's forests require strategically identifying opportunities to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.  Application deadline is March 15th, 2023 at 4 PM.


NEED HELP ACCESSING YOUR SUBMITTABLE ACCOUNT INFORMATION? YES! 

NEED HELP ADDING COLLABORATORS?  YES

The current conditions of Montana's forests require strategically identifying opportunities to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk. The 2020 Montana Forest Action Plan identifies where priority forest treatments should be focused statewide while acknowledging the need to work collaboratively to achieve cross-boundary landscape scale success. DNRC Forest Stewardship Grants provide funding to offset a portion of the expense of implementing forest treatments.

Prior to submitting your application, be sure to read the Stewardship Grant Guide. The guide describes each available grant opportunity and the associated types of projects supported by each grant. 

Applications are due by 4pm on March 15th, 2023.  You may find it helpful to use this worksheet to start you application. All applications must be submitted via Submittable.

If you have questions about the DNRC Stewardship Grant Opportunities, please contact Ashley Juran – ashley.juran@mt.gov - 406.542.4280.


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.
http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/cardd/conservation-districts/cdb-bureau
Stephanie Criswell, Steph.Criswell@mt.gov, 406-444-6669
Mary Hendrix,  Mary.Hendrix@mt.gov, 406-444-4253
Veronica Grigaltchik, Veronica.Grigaltchik@mt.gov, 406-874-2046
Hailey Graf, Hailey.Graf@mt.gov, 406-437-4435

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.
http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/cardd/conservation-districts/cdb-bureau
Stephanie Criswell, Steph.Criswell@mt.gov, 406-444-6669
Mary Hendrix,  Mary.Hendrix@mt.gov, 406-444-4253
Veronica Grigaltchik, Veronica.Grigaltchik@mt.gov, 406-874-2046
Hailey Graf, Hailey.Graf@mt.gov, 406-437-4435

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 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 $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 must 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;

DNRC Irrigation Development Grant Program (IDG)
Sustain, Develop and Conserve Arable Lands Grant Application Guidance
Grant applications for irrigation projects that increase or sustain irrigated agriculture in Montana may be submitted until February 24th, 2023, 5:00 pm.  Projects must address a need that will result in a benefit to irrigated agriculture.  The awarded projects will be announced on March 17th, 2023.


APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY:   State and Local governments such as cities, towns, counties, Tribal governments, and conservation, irrigation, and drainage districts, are eligible for a grant that covers the full cost of the project up to the program maximum of $30,000.00.  Private individuals and entities are eligible for a grant that covers 50% of project costs up to program maximum award of $30,000.00.

PROJECT ELIGIBILITY:  The project must (1) address development or sustainment of Montana's irrigated agriculture, and (2) initiate or increase the sponsor's water conservation or measurement efforts.  Projects may include:

  •  equipment replacement (excepting private wells and sprinkler systems such as wheel lines and pivots and pumps); 
  • infrastructure repair;
  •  investigations;
  •  and planning.


Projects resulting in adverse effects to renewable resources are ineligible.


FUNDING LIMITS: Grants may be awarded up to $30,000 for most projects depending on available funding, the intended activities, and based upon a budget that is supported by a clear scope of work.  Projects of state-wide significance may be considered for funding above this level.

  • Projects or work completed prior to the execution of a contract are ineligible for reimbursement.
  • Project sponsors must ensure applicable local, state and federal procurement requirements are followed.



For additional information or assistance contact:
Ann L Kulczyk
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation  
Resource Development Bureau
228 6th Street South
P.O. Box 321
Glasgow, Montana 59230
Phone: 406-228-4129
akulczyk@mt.gov

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.

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

DNRC Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program
Planning Grant Application Guidance


Contact Information
Lindsay Volpe             444-9766         lmvolpe@mt.gov

Sonja Hoeglund         444-0552        shoeglund@mt.gov 


RRGL Planning Grant Purpose
The purpose of the RRGL Planning Grant Program is to provide funding  to governmental entities for professional and technical services  necessary to produce a high-quality RRGL grant application leading to a  project that conserves, manages, develops, or protects Montana’s  renewable resources.

The contracted services must be necessary to produce or update a  Preliminary Engineering Report meeting the requirements of the Uniform  Application for Montana Public Facility Projects OR the Step 4.  Technical Narrative section of the RRGL Application for Governmental  Entities. Costs to produce Capital Improvement Plans, Growth Plans, and  other management tools are also eligible for funding.

The program does not cover costs associated with final design, aquatic invasive species, in-kind activity, indirect or program costs.

Eligibility
An applicant must be a governmental entity, including tribal  governments. Examples include municipalities, counties, sewer and/or  water districts, irrigation districts, conservation districts, and  Native American tribes located in Montana.
In-kind services and program costs are not eligible reimbursable items.

How to Apply
All applications must be submitted electronically by February 24, 2023 by 5:00 PM.  An applicant must register and apply at https://www.grants.dnrc.mt.gov

Authorizing Statement
All applications must submit an Authorizing Statement (pdf) as a requirement of the application.

Ranking
Applications will be reviewed and competitively ranked based on the renewable resource benefits of the proposed project.  Proposed projects must conserve, manage, develop, or preserve/protect Montana’s renewable resources.
Application Review Form

Funding
Funding is limited by availability and will be at the final  discretion of RRGL staff. However, all efforts will be made to make  awards in accordance with application type limits listed below in order  to preserve budget integrity for the applicant.

Application Types and Associated Grant Limits
New Preliminary Engineering Reports meeting the requirements of the Uniform Application for Montana Public Facility Projects are limited to  $15,000.

New Technical Narratives meeting the requirements of Step 4.  Technical Narrative section of the RRGL Application for Governmental  Entities are limited to $15,000.

Updates to existing Preliminary Engineering Reports and Technical Narratives are limited to $10,000.

Other types to fund Capital Improvement Plans, Growth Plans, and other management tools are limited to $8,000.

Environmental Checklist
Please complete the Environmental Checklist for your project if on the ground activities will result in environmental impacts. Consult with the program staff for additional guidance or questions. 


Reporting Requirements
Funds for these grants will be subject to ARPA funding requirements. Quarterly reports will be required for reimbursement.

Funding Requirements
Applicants will be required to provide a federally issued Unique ID Number (UEI) or DUNS Number. Half of the grant award may be received upon receipt of draft plan and the remainder will be reimbursed upon receipt of final planning document.  Find more information here (pdf). 


Match Requirements
No match is required.

Funding Cycles
The total grant funds for 2023 biennium are $1,000,000. Application funding is available depending upon revenue received. After the second cycle, planning grant awards will be awarded at the programs discretion.