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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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It's about challenging our youth! 

It's about making teaching fun!

It's about changing attitudes!

It's about preserving our future!

The Envirothon uses the outdoors as an alternative to classroom learning. In this natural setting, students become aware of the many environmental problems that exist today. Working as a team, they learn to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to arrive at solutions to specific environmental problems.

The Envirothon encourages "hands-on" learning. Students learn many interesting facts, but more importantly, learn to listen to various viewpoints to solve problems.

They also have the opportunity to learn from a variety of environmental education professionals. This offers great opportunities for career counseling "in the field."

The best way to promote positive behaviors is to promote positive attitudes. That's the key to a successful Envirothon. Teaching positive attitudes about the world around us has a ripple effect which spreads through communities and benefits the total environment.

Today's students are tomorrow's homeowners, consumers, and decision-makers. Teachers are faced with the critical job of preparing students to make the best choices about our natural resources. The Envirothon offers a unique approach to help teachers accomplish this task. Using current information on environmental issues, teachers can prepare students to make educated decisions about the world around them.



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School Year

The Montana Competition

The National Competition

At the beginning of the school year, the resource committee and the teachers or advisors sit down to plan activities. (Field days, presentations, debates, classroom training, etc.) These "training" activities take place throughout the school year. They enhance the existing environmental education programs in high schools because they bring together natural resource professionals with teachers to offer expert, quality field work and ideas. Most materials are provided free of charge (refer to study guides on the page below).

Participation in the Envirothon is open to all students enrolled in grades 9-12 in public, private, vocational technical or home-school program. Five students make up a team. 

Students are tested for their knowledge in five natural resource topics - Aquatics, Forestry, Rangeland, Soils, and Wildlife. At the Envirothon, students are given a current environmental issue (changes annually) and are challenged to share their solutions in an oral presentation. 

The state competition usually takes one-two days and is held in Lewistown the last full week of April.

In this competition, five hundred dollar ($500.00) cash is awarded for each First Place team member and three hundred dollar ($300.00) cash to each Highest Test Score team member. The same team cannot win both awards and prices. 

The winning team from the Montana competition will go on to compete at the NCF-Envirothon each Summer where awards are offered for the 1st-10th place team.

NCF-Envirothon materials are provided by the host state or province.

The national Envirothon is a four-five day event where teams from each participating state/country work out the solution to an environmental program. There are also tours, campfires, night hikes, and other environmentally related activities available.  


Study Guides

Additional Study Material

Resource Partners

Aquatics/Water Study Guide

Forestry Study Guide

Rangeland Study Guide

Soils Study Guide

Wildlife Study Guide 

Aquatic material

Forestry material

Range material

Range material 2 

Soils material

Wildlife material

Releasing a pet to the wild

Montana Association of Conservation Districts

Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks

USDA Montana Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA Forest Service

Boone and Crockett Club

Soil and Water Conservation Society, Montana Chapter

USDI Montana Bureau of Land Management

USDI Fish & Wildlife Service

Additional information and natural resources needed to compete in Envirothon can be found at your local Conservation District.  Districts are assisted at each level of

competition by related state and federal environmental agencies and organizations that consists of foresters, soil scientists, wildlife and fisheries experts, and other


More Resources

  1. Environmental Protection Agency
  2. National Association of Conservation Districts Conservation Education Hub
  3. National Environmental Education Foundation
  4. National Science Teaching Association
  5. North American Association of Environmental Education
  6. Project Learning Tree
  7. Project Wet







2021 Current Issue: Water Resources Management Local Control and Local Solutions

Upcoming Competition


2021 NCF-Envirothon  
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
July 25 - July 31, 2021



2021 Key Topics and Learning Objectives Key 

Key Topic #1: Understanding how groundwater and surface water systems function 

Key Topic #2: Understanding the importance of water quality and quantity as a foundation in a healthy ecosystem

Key Topic #3: Understanding a variety of water quality indicators in different landscapes

Key Topic #4: Understanding a variety of water quantity indicators in different landscapes

Key Topic #5: Understanding how sustainable and best management practices enhance and protect water quality and quantity for humans and wildlife

Key Topic #6: Understanding the differences of local, regional, and national systems that manage natural resources and the importance of each in water resources

Key Topic #7: Understanding the social, economic, political impacts of natural resources management and decision making  

Nebraska is fortunate to sit atop the Ogallala aquifer, one of the largest unconfined aquifers in the world.  This natural resource provides drinking water for most of the state and has enabled Nebraska to lead the country as the #1 irrigated state, helping to sustain agriculture as the states leading industry. 

Managing and protecting this resource is the responsibility of Nebraska’s unique local Natural Resources Districts (NRDs).  While NRDs have maintained groundwater levels near pre-development levels, competing uses and variable supplies have placed additional management requirements on locally elected policy makers. Students will learn the concepts of how water is managed in Nebraska, and how the local Natural Resources District system works to address integrated water management challenges. Key topics will include:

  • Understand the ability of Natural Resources Districts to implement local policy and local management to protect water users;
  • Understand administrative structures and processes for managing water uses and supplies;
  • Understand ground and surface water hydrology and connectivity;
  • Understand the economic, social and environmental impacts of projects and policy decisions.


Nebraska is excited to bring nearly 500 students, volunteers and advisors to the cornhusker state for the 2020.



Team Registration Application Medical Information Form Parental Consent Form


For More Information Contact

Shonny Nordlund

Fergus County Conservation District

211 McKinley, Suite 5

Lewistown, MT 59457-2020

Phone: (406) 538-7401, ext. 101



Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

1539 11th Avenue, PO Box 201601

Helena, MT 59620-1601






The spirit of competition, which motivates athletes and drive successful business people to develop new ideas, also motivates young citizens. In competing in the

Envirothon, not only do students learn about their state's natural resource problems and solutions--but they also learn about team building, communications, and

conservation partnerships. They indirectly "experience" natural resource and conservation careers. But the payoff, for all involved will be a more aware and concerned

citizenry in the future. The environment can only benefit from this educational effort.