The Reclamation and Development Grants Program (RDGP) Project Grants provide funding for sampling, design, and construction of projects that benefit natural resources as either a Mineral Development (Reclamation) or Crucial State Need (Drought, High Hazard Dams, and other Crucial State Need) project.  Eligible applicants and projects are described here.  

Current Grant Cycles

Applications Due: May 15, 2024 by 5pm

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Eligible Applicants:

  • Cities, counties, or other political subdivisions
  • Tribal governments in Montana
  • Divisions of state government (departments, agencies, boards, commissions)

Proposed projects must provide benefits in one of two categories: (1) mineral development (reclamation of impacts from non-renewable resource extraction, also called reclamation projects) or (2) crucial state need. 

Reclamation (Mineral Development)

To be considered a reclamation project, the project goals and objectives must achieve at least one of the following:

  1.  Reclaim land, water or other resources adversely affected by mineral development.
  2. Mitigate damage to public resources caused by mineral development.
  3. Research, demonstrate, or provide technical assistance to promote the wise use of Montana minerals, including efforts to make processing more environmentally compatible.
  4. Investigate and remediate sites where hazardous wastes or regulated substances threaten public health or the environment.
  5. Research to assess existing or potential environmental damage resulting from mineral development.

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. The critical and urgent nature of the proposed project must be clearly demonstrated in the application. Crucial state need projects must fit into one of the following categories:

  1. Drought Mitigation:  Projects that address drought as the main purpose of the project and have been identified in an existing plan such as a drought management plan or watershed management plan that ties the need for the project to a specific watershed or region of the state.
  2. High Hazard Dams:  High hazard dam (Montana Dam Safety Act, MCA 85-15-106) projects that will mitigate damage to natural resources as a result of failure.
  3. Other Crucial State Need:  Other projects that meet the criteria of a crucial state need project as described above. Projects must clearly be identified in an existing plan that identifies the need for this project to a specific watershed or region of the state, or include a letter of support from a knowledgeable and authoritative source, preferably a state agency, describing the need for this project for a specific watershed or region of the state.

In order to be eligible for RDGP funding, a project must:

  • Be technically and financially feasible
  • Be the most cost-effective alternative to address a problem or attain an objective
  • Comply with statutory and regulatory standards protecting environmental quality
  • Be from an applicant able and willing to enter into an agreement with DNRC for the implementation of the proposed project.
  • Cannot relieve a liable party or include work on an actively permitted site

Examples of Projects Include: 

  • Abandoned Mine Reclamation 
  • Brownfields Cleanup 
  • Abandoned Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup 
  • Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Cleanup 
  • Mining Related Mitigation Projects 
  • Crucial State Needs (a documented set of circumstances or conditions that require action to prevent or eliminate severe and unacceptable damage to Montana's environment) ; including drought and high hazard dams
DNRC will recommend no more than $300,000 for most projects.  DNRC may recommend up to $500,000 for a project if the applicant has clearly demonstrated multiple natural resource benefits , the need and urgency of the project, and the financial need and unavailability of other funds to complete the project.

How to Apply: 

Applications must be postmarked by and received in grants.dnrc.mt.gov by 5 pm on May 15, 2024. No late applications will be accepted. 

Submitted Online: Online application at https://grants.dnrc.mt.gov 

Submitted by Mail: One unbound hard copy of the entire application including a copy of all supporting documentation.  

Project Grant Overview and Application Instructions

Additional Materials for Application:


DNRC solicits, evaluates, and ranks each application and forwards its recommendations for funding to the Governor’s Office before each regular legislative session.  With the governor’s approval these recommendations are submitted to the legislature.  The legislature makes the final decision on which projects will be funded.  

Funds for projects approved by the legislature are awarded according to the funding priority list set by the legislature and are contracted according to available revenue.  Not all approved projects will be funded if the total amount requested exceeds available funds.  

Be the first to know about upcoming grant cycles.  Receive RDG grant announcements and program updates.

Additional Information

View 2022 Project Grant Applications and Funding Recommendations RD Bureau Overview page.

Contact Us

Samantha Treu
Samantha Treu
Program Manager
Reclamation and Development Grants
CARDD Montana Environmental Policy Act