The Local Government Forestry Assistance Grant program is intended to provide financial support to help local governments engage in activities to accelerate the pace and scale of forest management to reduce wildland fire hazards, improve forest health, and enhance economic productivity on cross-boundary projects that include federal lands in Montana.

Grant Cycle

The Request for Proposals for 2023 is closed.

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  • Local governments
  • Collaborative Groups with significant local government participation

Activities should contribute to the Montana Forest Action Plan Goals (MFAP):
1) Reduce wildfire risk
2) Improve forest health
3) Improve or retain biodiversity and habitats
4) Develop or retain working forests
5) Contribute to local economies
6) Adapt to climate change

Allowable Activities: 

High Priority for Funding:

1. Support local government engagement in cross-boundary management

 Funds may be used to:

a) Contribute to the funding for a county forester or support staff to increase county contributions to cross-boundary, federal forest management.

b)  Provide travel stipends to help local governments with travel costs for meetings or workshops that facilitate project implementation or increase knowledge of federal land management policies and procedures. Approved travel expenses will be reimbursed at state rates and in accordance with state travel policy.  Rates for lodging, per diem, and mileage are available at the following link: Travel Information Summary Sheet

c) Provide funding to hire qualified consultants and/or contracted services to assist local governments in collecting information, GIS services, reaching out to or educating private landowners regarding work in the Home Ignition Zone and cross-boundary treatments, or developing policies or communication materials to enhance use and management of natural resources in their jurisdictions.  This may include participation in federal plans or projects, updates to community wildfire protection plans (CWPP), or natural resource use policies.  Resulting products should help inform cross-boundary forest management, local government recommendations, promote better communication, and provide federal land management agencies with local guidance as they create new plans, projects, and policies.  Developing these policies or materials will require local governments to consider long-term outlooks within their jurisdiction.  Policies must be developed using sound science and in accordance with public policy in a public process.  

d)  Fund innovative proposals to help federal projects move forward more quickly.

2. Provide post-decision support.  Funding may be used to support local government engagement in legal action associated with federal forest projects that are litigated. Funding may be used to pay attorney fees, provide experts in the field of natural resource litigation, or cover court costs.  A small portion of the funds may go toward researching and vetting attorneys for hire.  

Low Priority for Funding: 

3. Increase effective collaborative engagement. Montana Forest Collaboration Network provides funding for collaboration, therefore for this grant, collaboration is not a high priority for funding. 

Funds may be used to support a new or existing collaborative group or process in which county commissioners participate. Funding may be used for increasing participation or group diversity, facilitation, information collection or analysis, administrative services, subject matter experts, workshops, or public engagement activities associated with collaboration on federal forest management projects. 

Grant Amount: Grants awarded typically range from $3,000 to a maximum of $8,000. Award amounts may vary due to funding availability and the number and quality of applications received.

Match: Grants require a 10% match. Match can be in the form of cash contributions to project activities. Cash contributions are encouraged and will be used as an evaluation criterion during application review.

Grant funds are issued on a reimbursement basis for activities approved in a grant agreement.

A request for proposals is available from March 1-31, 2023 via Submittable.

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Contact Us

Steve Kimball
Local Government Forest Advisor