The Watershed Management Grant (WMG) Program goals are to provide financial support for the development and implementation of locally led watershed related planning and capacity building activities that conserve, develop, improve or preserve state natural resources.

Teamwork Makes the Streams Work

Current Grant Cycles

New cycle in 2023. Check back for updates.

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Eligible Applicants:

  • Cities, counties, or other political subdivisions
  • Tribal governments in Montana
  • Divisions of state government (departments, agencies, boards, commissions)
  • Non-profit entities may apply with local government sponsorship or 1:1 match 

Eligible Projects:

Grants will be awarded for planning efforts and capacity building activities that conserve, develop, manage, or
preserve state natural resources. Approved grants shall be an instrument to enhance natural resource benefits.

Examples of WMG Projects include:
• Watershed Management planning activities that advance a conservation goal
• Development of natural resource management plans
• Staff time related to activity planning and management
• Data collection, public meetings, and other tasks related to planning
Capacity Building
• Improving organizational effectiveness
• Grant writing
• Fundraising
• Hosting a Big Sky Watershed Corps member or other volunteer or support position
• Professional conference(s) and training events directly related to proposed watershed
management activities
• Materials necessary for proposed activities
• Equipment Purchase
• Grant administration and reporting

Grant Amount 

DNRC will award grants up to $35,000 per grantee per biennium. Please see program guidance for specific funding limit details. 

Match Requirements

All entities are required to have 1:1 match for equipment. 

Non-government entities: A cost share of 50% (1:1) of total costs is required. Match shares may be in-kind services or cash.

A government entity may sponsor a non-government entity for a watershed management grant. The sponsor must submit the application and provide project oversite. Grant sponsors must have a material connection to the work being performed and are the legal party for purposes of project representation, negotiations and communications.

Ineligible Expenses

• Indirect cost
• Indirect costs not relating to established scope/schedule/budget
• Invasive species related activities such as inventory or control of aquatic or terrestrial plants and
organisms deemed invasive.
• Political lobbying or litigation
• Land or property acquisition
• Food or beverages
• Activities that limit lawful access to property

How to Apply 

Submit applications through the online grant management system:  grants.dnrc.mt.gov 

No application fees are required.

For additional help please see: Getting Started as a Submitter | Submittable Help Center and/or Submittable Help - For Submitters | Submittable

Application Review and Award 
DNRC solicits, evaluates, and ranks each application.  Funds are awarded based on rank and available funding.

Application Evaluation Criteria
Applications will be evaluated based on the degree to which the activity meets the following criteria:

  • Meets program requirements outlined in the guidance.
  • The purpose of the grant and proposed activities:
    • Are stated clearly
    • Results in watershed management and/or build capacity
    • Support local and state natural resource plans
    • Support locally led watershed initiatives that conserve, develop, improve or preserve state
    natural resources
    • Demonstration of stakeholder, local landowner, and community participation in proposed
    • Proposed activities and budget items are connected
    • Budgeted activities and schedule include grant administration and reporting

Review the WMG Grant Scoring Criteria at the end of the program guidance.

Additional Information

Grant Awards

Rankings are in 2022 WMG Application Rankings.

Program Materials

Program Brochure 

WMG Program Guidance (doc)

Contact Us

Jorri Dyer
Jorri Dyer
Program Manager
Watershed Management Grants
Reclamation and Development Grants
406-422-7739 (cell)