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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
Questions? Email us

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. Please visit the categories below to find which grants and loans are available. Selecting any header will provide you with a more detailed description of each grand and loan.

Conservation District Grants

  • District Development Grant
  • Conservation District Administrative Grants
  • Conservation District "HB223" Grants
  • Education Mini-Grants
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
District Development Grant

This program will provide funds to increase conservation district employee's hours to assist in planning, securing funding, and implementing programs that improve public outreach, improve conservation district administrative capabilities, and implement conservation plans.

District Development Grant Application

District Development Grant Guidelines

Conservation Districts $10,000

Quarterly:

July 29, 2016
October 14, 2016
January 16, 2017
April 26, 2017

Conservation District Administrative Grants Conservation District administrative expenses Conservation Districts Based on financial need May 13, 2016

Conservation District "HB223" Grants (pdf)

223 Application (doc)

Any project sponsored by a Montana conservation district under its authority.

HB223 Grant Guidelines

HB223 Final Report Summary Template

Conservation Districts Up to $20,000 Quarterly:
July 29, 2016
October 14, 2016
January 16, 2017
April 26, 2017

Education Mini-Grants

Student and Adult Education projects that focus on water, weeds, or other natural resources.

Education Mini-Grant Guildines

Conservation District (sponsored natural resource education) $500

Quarterly:
July 29, 2016
October 14, 2016
January 16, 2017
April 26, 2017

Fire Grants

  • Volunteer Fire Assistance Program
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Volunteer Fire Assistance Program Organize, train and equip local firefighters to prevent and suppress wildfires. Communities under 10,000 in population. Smaller communities may join together in a group and or county effort to submit an application, even if their combined population is over 10,000. There is no pre-set award amount. Financial assistance on any project, during any fiscal year, requires a non-federal match for project expenditures. May 16, 2016

Forest Product and Biomass Grants

  • Biomass Energy Pre-Feasibility Assessment Grants
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Biomass Energy Pre-Feasibility Assessment Grants Hire firm to conduct pre-feasibility assessment for installing a wood biomass energy system. public, non-profit and tribal facilities and private busienesses $3,500.  Likely to cover full cost of assessment. Ongoing

Irrigation Development

NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Irrigation Development Grants                                   
  • Increase irrigation efficiencies through water conservation
  • Expand or sustain irrigated acreage
  • Increase production of high-value crops
  • Improve management of irrigation systems
  • Improve interbasin cooperation among all water users                                                                                                                                 

Irrigation Development Grants                                                    

  • Private for profit                   
  • Private nonprofit
  • Governmental entities
  • Tribal entities                                                                                                                                            
$300,000 - $20,000                                                    Ongoing

Private Forestry Assistance

  • Western States Windland Urban Interface
  • Hazardous Fuel Reduction Grant
  • Landscape Scale Resoration (LaSR) Grant
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Western States Wildland Urban Interface National Fire Plan funds to mitigate risk from wildland fire within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) are available and awarded through a competitive process to 22 western states and territories through the Western Wildland Urban Interface Grant Program. Each year, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation accepts proposals from partners around the state for submission to the National Fire Plan competitive process. The State scores and prioritizes these proposals before sending them on to the national competitive process. Non-profit organizations, conservation districts, county and municipal governments, and fire departments.  Individual landowners may not apply but may be eligible for cost-share opportunities through this program.  Interested parties should contact local DNRC service forester. Each grant request is limited to a maximum of $300,000 Applications released in late spring each year with a due-date in August.
Hazardous Fuel Reduction Grant Hazardous fuel reduction on private lands to protect communities adjacent to National Forest System Lands where prescribed fire activities are planned. Prescribed fire activities must be imminent (to take place within 3 years of the award). Non-profit organizations, conservation districts, county and municipal governments, fire departments. Variable. Award amounts typically range from $50,000 to $100,000 depending upon availability of funding. On-going. Funds are awarded through a limited solicitation process. Program contact: Angela Mallon, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4221, amallon@mt.gov.
Landscape Scale Restoration (LaSR) Grant Intended for implementation of watershed level, forest-based projects and activities which address the three State and Private Forestry national themes:
conserve and manage working forests, protect forests from threats, and enhance public benefits from private forests.
DNRC is the applicant; may collaborate externally with non-profit organizations, conservation districts, county and municipal governments, etc. to develop application. Interested parties should contact local DNRC service forester. Each grant request limited to a maximum of $300,000. Pre-proposal application due
March 27, 2015.  Program contact: Angela Mallon, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4221, amallon@mt.gov

Range Improvement and Water Development Loans

  • Range Improvement Loans
  • Private Water Development Loans
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Range Improvement Loans

Fencing, seeding, stockwater development, and other range improvement practices.

Range Improvement Loans

Private landowner Up to $75,000 @ 3% interest for 10 years. Ongoing
Private Water Development Loans

Private water development projects.

Private Water Development Loans

Private entities Up to $400,000 Ongoing

Reclamation and Development Grants

  • Reclamation and Development Grants Program
  • Reclamation and Development Project Planning Grants
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Grants
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Reclamation and Development Grants Program

Funds project that repair, reclai, and mitigate environmental damage to public resources from nonrenewable resource extraction. Also, funds projets that protect Montana's environment and ensure the quality of public resources for hte benefit of all Montanans. 

Reclamation and Development Grant Application

Cities, counties, or other political subdivision, tribal governments in Montana and divisions of state government (departments, agencies, boards, commissions). Up to $500,000 (approved by the Montana Legislature).

May 15 on even years 

Reclamation and Development Project Planning Grants

Plan for projects that are eligible for the project grants through the Reclamation and Development Grant Program.

Reclamation and Development Project Planning Grant Application

Tribes, cities, counties, conservation districts and other local government entities. Up to $50,000 per planning project, depending on intended planning activities.

December 20, 2016 until 5:00 p.m.

(Additional cycles will be announced until funds are expended.)

Aquatic Invasive Species Grants

Grants for the prevention, control, and management of aquatic invasive species.

Aquatic Invasive Species Grants Application

State and local governments Up to 30,000 depending on project.

Annually on March 15

Renewable Resource Grants and Loans

  • Renewable Resource Grants and Loans
  • Renewable Resource Project Planning Grants
  • Emergency Grants and Loans
  • Renewable Resource Loans to Private Entities
  • Renewable Resource Grants to Private Entities
  • Watershed Management Grants
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Renewable Resource Grants and Loans 

Projects that conserve, manage, develop or protect Montana's renewable resources are eligible for funding. Numerous public facility projects including drinking water, wastewater and solid waste development and improvement projects have received funding through this program. Other renewable resource projects that have been funded include irrigation rehabilitation, dam repair, soil and water conservation and forest enhancement.

Renewable Resource Grants and Loans Application

Eligible applicants include political subdivisions of state, local and tribal government including state agencies and universities, counties, incorporated cities and towns, conservation districts, irrigation districts, water/sewer/solid waste districts and tribes. Grants are limited to $125,000 per project.

May 15th, 2018

Aplications submitted online at www.fundingmt.org by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline.

Renewable Resource Project Planning Grants

The purpose of RRGL project planning grants is to fund planning efforts, for public entities, for projects that conserve, manage, develop, or protect renewable resources in Montana.

Renewable Resource Project Planning Grants Application Guidance

Eligible applicants include political subdivisions of state, local and tribal government including state agencies and universities, counties, incorporated cities and towns, conservation districts, irrigation districts, water/sewer/solid waste districts and tribes. Up to $50,000 depending on project classification.

Additional Cycle will be announced until the funds are expended.


Emergency Grants and Loans

DNRC has been granted authority to approve both grants and loans for emergency projects 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 system.

Emergency grants and loans are available to state and local government agencies including, but not limited to, counties, incorporated cities and towns, conservation districts, irrigation districts, and water and sewer districts. As determined by DNRC Ongoing
Renewable Resource Loans to Private Entities

Funds must  be used for private water development projects. Examples of eligible projects include converting from flood to sprinkler irrigation, rehabilitating irrigation systems, building or repairing irrigation dams, lining and consolidating ditches, automating irrigation systems, and developing rural water supplies.

Renewable Resource Loans to Private Entities Application

Individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations are eligible for Renewable Resource Private Loans.

Private loans may not exceed $400,000. Ongoing
Renewable Resource Grants to Private Entities

Most of the funds are targeted to assist small, privately owned water systems.

Renewable Resource Grants to Private Entities Application

Individuals, partnerships, associations, or corporations are eligible for Renewable Resource grants (both for-profit and nonprofit). 25 percent of the project cost or $5,000 whichever is less. Ongoing
Watershed Management Grants


Funds will be used for watershed related planning and management activities which conserve, manage, develop or protect the state renewable resources and/or support the implementation and development of the state water plan.

Renewable Resource Watershed Management Grant Program Application

Local government, state government, and tribal government entities.

Non-profit entities may apply with local government sponsorship OR as a private entity with a match requirement.
up to $20,000 depending upon activities.

Additional cycles will be announced until funds are expended.

Aplications submitted online at www.fundingmt.org by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline.

State Revolving Fund Loans

The Montana Legislature established two State Revolving Fund (SFR) Loan Programs - one for water pollution control projects (wastewater and non-point source projects) and the other for drinking water projects. Both programs provide at or below market interest rate loans to eligible Montana entities. These programs are funded with capitalization grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and are matched by 20% with State issued general obligation bonds. Combined, these two sources of funds create the "state revolving fund" from which loans are made and borrower repayments revolve to provide loans for future infrastructure projects.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the administering agency and assures that the technical and programmatic requirements of the program are met. The DNRC issues the State's general obligation bonds and makes loans to the project borrowers. Cooperatively, DEQ and DNRC administer the State Revolving Fund Loan Programs.

Urban & Community Forestry Grants

  • Arbor Day
  • Montana School ReLeaf Project
  • Montana Tree City of the Year
  • Program Development
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Arbor Day Helps communities celebrate Arbor Day by aiding in the purchase and planting of one or more trees. Montana Communities All Communities - $300 Grant
"Tree City USA" - $750 Grant

January 15, 2016

Montana School ReLeaf Project The Montana School ReLeaf Project has three primary goals: to increase awareness of urban forestry in Montana schools; to certify schools that support sustainable urban "greenscapes" on school grounds; and to teach students to be good stewards of the land. Montana Schools $200 and $1,000 On Going
Montana Tree City of the Year The Montana Tree City of the Year Award recognizes Montana's top communities that demonstrate excellence in urban forestry. The purpose is to promote innovative and significant projects that raise awareness through urban forestry. Community must be a current Tree City USA designated community or achieve the designation within one year of the award. $10,000

Next cycle -    Fall 2017

Program Development Supporting innovative projects in Urban Forestry. These may include, tree inventories; development of an Urban Forest Management Plan; or writing a City/County approved Tree Ordinance. Montana Cities, Towns, Counties and Tribal Governments $2,000 to $15,000

November 9, 2016

Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Action Coordinating Team

In 1982, a group of professionals from state, federal, and non-profit organizations that finance, regulate, or provide technical assistance for community water and Pablo Wastewater Treatment Pondswastewater systems, decided to start meeting in order to coordinate and enhance their efforts. This group calls itself the "Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Action Coordinating Team" or W2ASACT for short. W2ASACT meets several times a year to find ways to improve our state's environmental infrastructure.

All of the programs represented in W2ASACT have different missions and meet unique needs. However, it has been the common elements shared by the funding programs that have been the driving force of W2ASACT. These programs provide money (grants or loans), take applications from communities to fund their projects, and administer those monies once the project is funded. While W2ASACT cannot change all of the state or federal requirements, it can identify unnecessary duplication of requirements that make compliance difficult for communities.