The Local Government program was established by the Montana Legislature in 2015 through House Bill 510. This program provides assistance to county commissioners and other local officials to help them more effectively engage with federal and state forest managers. The program is managed by a DNRC forester who serves as a staff resource for local governments.
Program Priorities
  • Advise county commissioners and local collaborative groups on plans, projects, and policy. Assist with comments to federal agencies.
  • Assist with legal filings in support of federal projects and plans.
  • Co-host an annual forest county summit for county commissioners and agency leaders.
  • Provide Local government assistance grants for collaboration, staffing, training, travel, and legal assistance.
  • Participate on the Montana Forest Action Council which facilitates implementation of the Montana Forest Action Plan.
  • Serve as state forestry liaison to the Montana Association of Forest County (MACo) and National Association of Counties (NACo).
Recent Accomplishments
  • Assisted Lincoln County in developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with agency partners to clarify goals and expectations; developed a “project roadmap” showing projects completed and in progress on all lands in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).
  • Assisted Silver Bow County in expediting reduction of hazardous fuels in Basin Creek which provides 60% of Butte’s water supply. The Basin Creek watershed is covered with heavy dead and down trees and is at high risk for a catastrophic wildfire.
  • Assisted Ravalli County in establishing a new county forester position and Mineral County in establishing a new county resource advisor position. These positions will expand the capacity of the counties to lead and support actions to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health.
  • Supporting Lincoln and Silver Bow Counties in participating as Cooperating Agencies in Forest Service projects. As Cooperating Agencies counties are at the table for Interdisciplinary Team meetings and work with the agency on public involvement and environmental analysis.
  • Guided Sanders County and the Lolo National Forest to expand the Wilkes-Cherry project to address private land treatment opportunities.
  • Assisted Missoula County in their work with the Lolo National Forest on the Wildfire Adapted Missoula project.

Local Government Forestry Assistance Grant

Grant Purpose:

  • Support local government in cross-boundary management.

Types of Activities Funded:

  • Funding for county forester, wildfire mitigation coordinator, or county support staff; funds for travel, consultation, outreach to private landowners, or other contracted services or support to engage in federal management for effectively.

Maximum award amount of $8,000.
A 10% match is required.
Applications will be accepted March 1 through April 1, 2024.

Program Manager
Steve Kimball