The Department and attached Boards and Commission administer a variety of permits, licenses, and services to meet the needs of Montanans and maintain natural resources. 


310 Stream Permitting

If you are planning to do work on or near a waterway in Montana, one or several permits may be required. Conservation districts, along with participating agencies, created a Joint Application Form  to help reduce the number of application forms that you need to complete to get your permits. We hope that in addition to reducing paperwork, the use of the form will increase coordination and streamline the permitting process.

310 Permits

Apply for Water Rights

Anyone planning a new or expanded development for a beneficial use of water from surface water or groundwater source after June 30, 1973, must obtain a Beneficial Water Use Permit (Form 600) to appropriate water or file a Notice of Completion of Ground Water Development (Form 602) to get a Certificate of Water Right.

Apply for Water Rights

Fire Hazard Reduction Agreement

The Control of Timber Slash and Debris law requires a contractor (usually the landowner or operator) to enter into a bonded contract agreement, known as a Fire Hazard Reduction Agreement. The agreement requires that logging slash be reduced to acceptable state standards. Furthermore, the law requires sawmills and other purchasers of forest products to obtain proof that the seller (contractor) of the forest products has an agreement. Mills withhold certain funds to transfer to the State which then becomes the bond. The DNRC monitors these agreements and releases the bond on completion of the hazard reduction work.

Hazard Reduction Agreement

Floodplain Permitting and Regulations

Implementing floodplain management regulations reduces vulnerability to future flood risk. If we know low lying land will flood from time to time, we should make reasonable decisions to help protect our families, home, and business.

Floodplain Permitting and Regulations

Oil and Gas Permits

The Board of Oil and Gas Conservation issues permits for various oil and gas activities including drilling permits, well work, and UIC Class II injection wells. Current or new operators seeking a permit through the BOGC should visit the below link.

Oil and Gas Permits

Permitting an Existing Dam

Dams in Montana with storage capacity greater than 50 acre fee that are located on non-federal property with a high-hazard classification require a permit administered by the DNRC Dam Safety Program.

Permit Existing Dam

Trust Lands Christmas Tree Permit

Christmas tree cutting is permitted on State Trust Land with the required permit obtained through the local Field Office. Permit cost is $10 per tree.

Find Your Field Office

Trust Lands Citizen Commercial Timber Permit

Individual citizens may apply for a commercial timber permit for up to 500,000 board feet. The DNRC will charge full market value for permits. A performance bond, work comp, and liability insurance are required. The applicant must provide documentation of legal access and information about the proposed harvest area including: current stand, harvest description, logging system, and postharvest stand.

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Trust Lands Elmo Group Rental Property

The Elmo Events property is located on Flathead Lake with private lake access for fishing, swimming, and paddle boarding. The property is also adjacent to a public boat launch. The site can accommodate up to 40 campsites for RVs or tents with direct access to Flathead Lake.  This property is the perfect spot for rustic weddings, family or class reunions, and retreats. Pricing is based on event size, duration, and impacts.

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Trust Land Werner Peak Lookout Tower

The Werner Peak Lookout tower is seasonally available to the public for overnight use. The available dates are released the first business day following the New Year and are booked on a first-come-first-served based.  Note: Demand for this location is high. The Lookout is only available to be reserved for two nights per guest per season. Rent is $60.00/night plus bed tax.

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Trust Lands Firewood Permit

Gathering firewood for personal use, including cutting of downed trees, on State Trust Lands requires a permit from the local DNRC Field Office. The cost is $10.00 per cord, with a minimum purchase of two cords. A cord of wood is 4’x4’x 8’ and can generally be described as filling the bed of two full-size pickup trucks.

Find Your Local Office

Conservation License for Access to State Trust Land

Most legally accessible StateTtrust Land is open to the public for recreational use. With the required license, most State Trust Land can be used for general recreation activities including hiking, dog walking, bicycling, hunting, fishing, camping, and more. Licenses are valid from March 1 – February 28. Licenses are sold online through MT FWP.

Adult: $8
Youth, 12-17, and apprentice hunters ages 10 and 11: $4
Senior, 62+: $4
Nonresident: $10
Trust Land Special Recreation Use License

Commercial or concentrated recreational use on state trust land requires a special recreational use license (SRUL). The license fee for an SRUL is based on the scope and terms of the license. Additionally, SRULs may be issued through competitive bidding. 

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Conservation Seedlings

Containerized and bare-root stock that is derived from locally adapted and source identified seed is available for purchase for conservation projects. Private landowners; county conservation districts; government agencies; conservation organizations; tribes, and the forestry industry throughout the State of Montana can purchase seedlings.

Order Seedlings

County Cooperative Program

In areas outside of direct protection by a recognized wildland fire agency, the DNRC affirms wildland fire protection via a cooperative agreement between the county’s Board of County Commissioners and the State. By formally partnering with all 56 Counties in Montana, DNRC ensures wildland fire protection on over 55 million acres of state and private land via an arrangement known as State/County Cooperative Fire Protection or County Co-op.

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Equipment Development and Communications Center

For the county cooperative fire protection program, EDCC develops type 2 water tenders and type 3, 4, 5, 6 wildland fire engines. This equipment is owned by the state, but maintained and kept at the counties. EDCC also manages the Forest Service Federal Excess Personal Property program and the Department of Defense Fire Fighter Program for the State of Montana. Through these programs the state receives excess federal property to be used for firefighting at the state and local level.

Equipment Currently Available

Service Foresters

Sixteen Service Foresters located across Montana are available for free one-on-one consultations with private landowners. A Service Forester is often the first contact a private landowner has with the DNRC, and acts as a liaison to individual programs and specialists within the DNRC's Forestry Assistance Bureau.

Find Your Forester

Urban and Community Forestry

Technical assistance, training, financial assistance, public education, and volunteer coordination support is available for communities and Tribes in Montana through the Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Learn More

Wildland Fire Risk Assessment Site Visit

Determining your wildfire risk and taking actions to prepare is an important action all Montana residents need to take. Free site visits are available by a local fire professional. He or she will assess your property and provide recommendations on how you can reduce your wildfire risk.

Request Site Visit

Wildland Fire Training for Local Government

DNRC has developed a comprehensive training program that supports all fire management activities including activities such as fire prevention, detection, and prescribed burns in addition to fire suppression. The agency designs, develops and delivers training courses to its own permanent and seasonal firefighting personnel and to County Cooperative Fire Program personnel, at no cost, in every county in the state.

View Course Calendar