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Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant

Grants to Montana Agencies, Associations, and
Clubs to Develop or Maintain Outdoor Trails

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/01/18 5:00 PM


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Grants to Montana government agencies, clubs, and private associations for the development, restoration, and maintenance of recreational trails. Possible projects include urban trail development, trail-related safety and educational projects, development of trailside facilities, restoration of areas damaged by use, and basic front and backcountry trail maintenance.

The following RTP grant categories are offered:

-The Small Grant Category: This category assists grant applicants with fewer grant-writing resources or smaller projects.

-The Standard Grant Category

-The Big Grant Category: In the spirit of helping one or more RTP grant applicants move closer to the goal of completing a significant trails project, a limited number of Big Grants may also be available.

Eligible Projects:

-Operation of trails-related environmental protection and safety education programs.
-Trails information, ethics education and interpretive information.
-Development of urban trail linkages near homes and work places.
-Trail projects on routes legally designated or otherwise appropriately approved by the land managing agency.
-Trails that are not currently under litigation in a court of law.
-Construction and maintenance of trails:
-Restoration of areas damaged by trail use.
-Development of trailside and trailhead facilities.
-Providing features to assist disabled individuals.
-Acquisition of easements and fee simple title of property for trails.
-Signs and other traffic control devices. However these devices must conform to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
-Buildings and facilities that are newly constructed or altered with federal funds are subject to the accessibility requirements contained in the Uniform Accessibility Standards.
-Purchase of equipment to be used on a long-term or seasonal basis and that is not available through rent or lease. Sponsor must identify a methodology for long-term operation and maintenance of the equipment. Equipment must clearly and solely benefit trail users and not be used in other settings. Equipment should be rented if it will not be used for ongoing maintenance specific to the proposed trail or trail systems.

Eligible Construction or Maintenance Projects:

-Clearing/brushing on federal lands will only be allowed to the standard clearing widths identified in the appropriate federal agency trail guidelines.
-On federal lands, grants will only be approved for trails legally designated by the appropriate federal agency that are included in recognized forest plans, resource area plans, or travel plans.
-Broad scale maintenance will require specific trail identification and specific description of work to be accomplished.
-Weed control related to a trail or trail projects.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167502

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Up to four Big Grants of may also be available each RTP grant cycle.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Small Grant category comprises sponsors requesting $20,000 or less per grant

The Standard Grant category includes sponsors requesting $20,001 - $45,000.

Big Grants of $90,000 may also be available.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

RTP grant applicants (sponsors) can include federal, state, county or municipal agencies, private associations and clubs.

Any applicant with an RTP grant approved prior to 2015 (that doesn’t have an approved one-year Extension) that has not yet completed that project is not eligible to apply for a FY 2018 grant.

Not Eligible:

-Land acquisition by condemnation.
-Construction of new trails on federal lands.
-Projects that displace fish and wildlife species or reduce habitat effectiveness; cause irreparable damage to vegetation, soils, water and wild public lands or substantially increase conflicts.
-Trail projects on routes not legally designated by the appropriate land managing agency.
-Trails, or any project pertaining to that trail, currently under litigation in a court of law.
-Projects that have the potential to substantially alter legal use patterns or make the trail substantially less desirable for the spectrum of current users.
-Projects that destroy or compromise the special characteristics of roadless lands.
-Projects managed as profit making entities.
-Upgrading, expanding or facilitating motorized use or access to recreational trails predominantly used by non-motorized recreational trail users and on which, as of May 1, 1991 motorized use was prohibited or had not occurred.
-Conversion of rural/backcountry single track trails to double track trails or the conversion of double track trails to routes wide enough to accommodate motor vehicles (cars, trucks).
-Motorized projects in wilderness study areas or inventoried roadless areas except for projects that rehabilitate areas damaged by use including trails.
-Facilities (shelters, toilets, picnic tables, benches, etc.) located in park settings which are not clearly and solely for the benefit of trail users versus an enhancement for park users
-Feasibility Studies & Planning
-Law Enforcement

The following projects are not eligible to receive a Big Grant: educational projects, brochures, displays, and trail steward positions.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants may attend the application training sessions to learn more about the RTP Grant application process.

-December 1st – Helena – FWP Annex Building Conference Room—10:30 AM - 1:30 PM

-December 1st – Video-Conference or Skype Option in Billings (FWP Region 5 HQ) and Miles City (FWP Region 7 HQ)—10:30 AM - 1:30 PM

-December 6th – Kalispell – FWP Region 1 Conference Room—1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

-December 7th – Missoula – FWP Region 2 Conference Room—10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Pre-Application Information:

Cost-Share Program: 80% Recreational Trails Program Funds; 20% Sponsor Funds Federal grant sponsors must contribute a 5% non-federal match.

The RTP grant program is accepting applications from November 9, 2017 through February 1, 2018 at 5:00 PM.

Prior to receiving federal grant funds, all recipients must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet number (DUNS) and register in the System for Award Management (SAM) (or with a successor government-wide system officially designated by OMB). Recreational Trails Program agreements cannot be issued without DUNS/SAM registration.

After approval of all required documentation, FWP will reimburse the sponsor for 80% of the actual documented costs incurred. Reimbursement of RTP funds will only be approved for project expenditures incurred after the date of the signed project agreement between the project sponsor and FWP.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Join a Skype Meeting:

Join by phone
-Dial: 406-444-4647
-Access code: 7518905 (Helena Capitol Campus Region)
-Find a local number:
-Conference ID: 7518905 (same as access code above)

If you have trouble joining, try the Skype web app:

Apply Online:

Beth Shumate, Recreational Trails Program Manager
(406) 444-4585

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana