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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Permitting Tips

Wading through the permitting system can be difficult and confusing due to the number of agencies that have permitting authority. To make applying for a permit easier, agencies responsible for some of the permits listed in this brochure cooperatively developed a single application form that can be used when applying for permits A-G. The form can be obtained by contacting any of the agencies indicated as a participant or by downloading the joint application form.

When designing your project, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Plan ahead. Permit review can take from 30-120 days or more if an application is not complete. Contact all potential permitting agencies early in your planning process. All necessary permits must be obtained prior to beginning work.
  • Secure landowner permission. The receipt of a permit does not mean you have landowner permission. The applicant is responsible for obtaining landowner permission before entering land not owned by the applicant.
  • Submit a complete application. Consider potential impacts of your project such as temporary increases in turbidity, erosion, fisheries and aquatic life impacts due to timing of projects, etc., and include in your application how impacts will be minimized.
  • Leave as much streamside vegetation as possible. Streamside vegetation is important to the health and stability of a stream. Vegetation should be removed only to the extent necessary to construct the project. Plan to revegetate the area as soon as possible to avoid erosion and prevent weed infestations.
  • Get professional assistance, if necessary, for designing and constructing your project in conformity with the natural function of the stream or river. Engineering designs may be required, especially for large projects or projects that have the potential for impacts.
  • Consider bioengineering methods, where appropriate, to minimize project impacts.
  • Avoid projects that permanently prevent fish passage.
  • Agencies may approve permit applications contingent upon modifications and may change the timing of the project to minimize impacts.