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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 grant and loan.

 

 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. Section 1 – Section 5 address how the federal funds will be distributed to necessary water and sewer infrastructure projects. House Bill 632 created the Infrastructure Advisory Commission who will oversee spending on water and sewer infrastructure projects along with the Governor of Montana.

Information and online ARPA Water & Sewer Grant Application

Registered users can only work on one online application at a time.  Once the application has been completed and submitted, the registered user can start another application.  DNRC recommends that applicants download the application materials "offline".  Once all of the application materials and supporting documents are ready, the registered user can quickly fill out the online application, click submit, and then will be allowed to apply for a new one.

Links to online materials are provided throughout the grant application guidance.  

The WORKSHEET is made available for offline work only. The completed application must then be submitted online.

 

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INFORMATION & GRANT APPLICATION 

  

Conservation District Grants

The Conservation Districts Bureau is currently reviewing the Conservation Districts Grant Program to improve the program to streamline the process and make it easier for applicants. New guidelines and a schedule will be available before July 15, 2022. If you have input or questions, please contact Stephanie Criswell at steph.criswell@mt.gov, 406-444-6669.

NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Conservation District Administrative Grants

Conservation District administrative expenses

Conservation Districts Based on financial need TBD
Conservation District Project Grants

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

Conservation Districts TBD Biannual: Dates TBD

Education Mini-Grants

 

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

Conservation Districts  TBD

Ongoing. 

Check with your CD Specialist

Pollinator Grant

Projects that will improve pollinator habitat in Montana. Your project must demonstrate a public and conservation benefit. May be used for education, farm projects, demonstration plots, and pollinator seed mixes or products.  

Conservation Districts TBD

TBD

Fire Capacity Grants

  • Rural Fire Capacity Grant (RFC)
  • Cooperative Fire Protection Capacity Grant (CFPC)
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Rural Fire Capacity Grant (RFC) 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 20, 2022
Cooperative Fire Protection Capacity Grant (CFPC) Fund and leverage staff capacity or projects aimed at cooperatively increasing local fire leadership, preparedness, and fire response capabilities while also supporting DNRC County Coop fire protection related functions. Montana counties with a current Cooperative Fire Control Agreement with the State of Montana are eligible to apply. Grants awarded will typically range from $10,000 to a maximum of $30,000, per fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Award amounts may vary due to funding availability and the number and quality of applications received. Multi-year applications will be considered with a 2-year maximum. May 16, 2022

Forest Product and Biomass Grants

  • Biomass Energy Pre-Feasibility Assessment Grants
  • Wood Energy Project Development Grant
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 businesses $3,500.  Likely to cover full cost of assessment. Ongoing
Wood Energy Project Development Grant Hire firm to conduct wood energy project planning, engineering and design public, non-profit and tribal facilities and private businesses that have completed the Biomass Pre-feasibility Assessment up to $50,000 Not currently offered

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 non-profit
  • Governmental entities
  • Tribal entities                                                                                                                                           

$300 - $20,000         

 

Match Requirements: Private individuals/ entities are eligible for  50% of project costs up to program maximum award of $20,000.   

Ongoing -Check with program manager:

Next Round: 02/15/2022-03/22/2022

(406) 228-4129

Applications are submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline:

www.grants.mt.gov 

Forestry Assistance Grants- Wildfire Risk Reduction, Resilient Landscapes, Education

  • Western States Wildland Urban Interface Grant
  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant
  • Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Grant
  • Conservation Education Mini- Grant
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Forestry Assistance programs offer a series of grants to assist non-federal landowners reduce wildfire risk to communities, restore and sustain resilient forest landscapes, mitigate landscape-scale bark beetle outbreaks, and to support forestry and natural resources youth education and their educators. Click here to visit the Forest Pest Management website. Click here to visit the Forest Stewardship website.
Western Bark Beetle Initiative

Alter forest conditions on non-federal public lands to make them more
resilient to outbreaks of western bark beetle species, including
Douglas-fir beetle and mountain pine beetle.

The Western Bark Beetle Initiative aims to mitigate landscape-scale bark beetle outbreaks by supporting active management in susceptible forests, primarily in densely stocked ponderosa pine and/or Douglas-fir.

Land owners and managers of public non-federal lands, including State Lands (ex. Trust Lands; Fish, Wildlife and Parks), county lands, city conservation lands, and forests held by private non-profit organizations.  Projects must contain at least five contiguous acres of naturally-forested land at risk to bark beetle outbreaks. Projects are subject to specific treatment prescriptions depending on current and future condition needs.
Available funding varies annually. Please contact the program manager. RFP announced in early spring each year. Program contact: Amy Gannon, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4283, agannon@mt.gov
Western States Wildland Urban Interface Grant 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. DNRC is the applicant; usually works with non-profit organizations, conservation districts, county and municipal governments, and fire departments to develop and award funds.  Individual landowners may not apply but should contact contact their local DNRC service forester to find out if there is an existing program in their area. Each grant request is limited to a maximum of $255,000 RFP announced in early spring each year. Program contact: Ashley Juran, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4280, Ashley.Juran@mt.gov
Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant

To reduce the risk of wildland fire and catastrophic losses to resources and property in high-priority areas; which may result from a wildland fire encroaching from adjacent National Forest System (NFS) lands. Landowners are encouraged to be proactive to address hazardous fuel conditions on their property, reduce the ignition potential within their home ignition zone, and employ wildfire resilient principles to sustain a fire adapted home, property, and community.

Eligible applicants include but are not limited to non-profits, county or municipal governments, community groups, conservation organizations, homeowners associations, non-federal land management agencies. Parties with a project idea should contact their local DNRC service forester.

Each grant request is limited to a maximum of $50,000

Proposals accepted on an on-going basis and reviewed quarterly by a designated panel when funding is available. Program contact: Ashley Juran, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4280, Ashley.Juran@mt.gov

Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) 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 harm, and enhance public benefits from state and private forests. DNRC is the applicant; may collaborate externally with non-profit organizations, conservation districts, county and municipal governments, etc. to develop proposals. Parties with a project idea should contact local DNRC service forester. Each grant request limited to a maximum of $255,000 RFP announced in early spring each year.  Program contact: Erik Warrington, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4303, ewarrington@mt.gov
Conservation Education Mini-Grant Intended to provide program assistance and outreach efforts to children (pre-K through 12th grade) and their educators in both classroom and informal settings.

Eligible applicants include but are not limited to non-profits, county or municipal governments, community groups, educational institutions, educators, or individuals.

Up to $3,000 Continual. Program contact: Erik Warrington, DNRC Forestry Division, (406) 542-4303, ewarrington@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 @ 1.5% interest for 10 years. Ongoing
Private Water Development Loans

Private water development projects.

Private Water Development Loans

Private entities Up to $400,000 Ongoing

Aquatic Invasive Species Grants

NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Aquatic Invasive Species Grants

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

 

State and local governments Up to $50,000 depending on project.

Applications due each fall. Check the website for the most current information and deadlines.

Reclamation and Development Grants

  • Reclamation and Development Grants Program Project Grants
  • Reclamation and Development Project Planning Grants
NamePurposeEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Reclamation and Development Grants Program Project Grants 

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

2022 Reclamation and Development Project 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).

Application Due:

May 16, 2022

Applications are submitted online at grants.mt.gov and by mail by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline.

Next Due Date: Applications due May 15 of even numbered 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 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.

Application Due:

April 21, 2022

Due by 5 pm

Applications are submitted online at grants.mt.gov by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline.

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.

 

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.

Applications Due:

May 16, 2022

Applications are submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline:

 online grants.dnrc.mt.gov

Renewable Resource Project Planning Grants

 

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.

Renewable Resource Project Planning Grants Application Criteria and Ranking

Renewable Resource Project Planning Grant Guidance

Applicants must be a governmental entity including, but not limited to, municipalities;  sewer and water districts;  counties;  irrigation districts;  conservation districts;  and tribal governments.

Up to $15,000 depending on project classification.


Applications Due:

Cycles Updated Quarterly.

RRGL PLANNING GRANT APPLICATION WORKSHEET

Applications are submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline:

grants.dnrc.mt.gov

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 & based on available funding.

Loan Application

Grant Application online: 

grants.dnrc.mt.gov

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 & based on available funding.

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 & based on available funding.

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.

 

Program Guidance 

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 $35,000, depending upon activities.

Applications Due:

April 4, 2022

Due by 5 pm

Applications are submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline:

Montana DNRC Grants

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 Grants
  • Montana School ReLeaf Project
  • Montana Urban Forest Innovation Award
  • Program Development Grants
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 31st, 2022.

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 Urban Forest Innovation Award  The goals of the Urban Forest Innovation Award include improving the condition and function of urban landscapes and green infrastructure in Montana communities, and promoting innovative and significant project that raise awareness through urban forestry. Matching funds are encouraged, but not required. $15,000

2021 application cycle is closed.

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 $10,000

2021 application cycle is closed. Opens Fall 2022.

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 wastewater 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.