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Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant

Grants to Montana Agencies, Associations, and
Clubs to Maintain and Develop Outdoor Facilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/01/21 3:00PM MST


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Grants to Montana government agencies, clubs, and private associations for the development, restoration, and maintenance of outdoor facilities. Funding is intended for a broad range of activities, including projects that promote safety and education, rehabilitation and restoration projects, and equipment purchases.

Examples of eligible projects include: urban trail development, basic front and backcountry trail maintenance, restoration of areas damaged by trail use, development of trailside facilities, and educational and safety projects related to trails.
Eligible Project Types
  • 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:
    • 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.
  • Restoration of areas damaged by trail use.
  • Development of trailside and trailhead facilities (buildings and facilities that are newly constructed or altered with federal funds are subject to the accessibility requirements contained in the Uniform Accessibility Standards).
  • Providing features to assist individuals with disabilities.
  • Development of urban trail linkages near homes and work places.
  • Operation of trails-related environmental protection and safety education programs.
  • Trails information, ethics education, and interpretive information.
  • Acquisition of easements and fee simple title of property for trails.
  • Signs and other traffic control devices relating to trail use (such devices must conform to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices).
  • Purchase of trail-specific equipment to be used on a long-term or seasonal basis and that is not available through rent or lease. The applicant 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.

Priority Project Areas

    The State Trails Advisory Committee has identified the following priority project areas for funding this cycle. All projects will be reviewed based on merit before priority areas are considered.

    • Projects involving direct, on-the-ground trail work (e.g. trail crews, grooming activities).
    • Projects that can be maintained without future RTP funds and/or that have a sustainable maintenance plan clearly identified.
    • Projects that have a clear tie to enhancing public safety for a large population and/or multiple trail user groups.

    GrantWatch ID#:

    GrantWatch ID#: 167502

    Estimated Total Program Funding:


    Number of Grants:

    Montana State Parks typically receives over 75 RTP applications and grants 40-50 awards each application cycle. The State Trails Advisory Committee may award up to six Big Grants in 2021.

    Estimated Size of Grant:

    - Standard Grant Request: $10,000 to $69,999
    - Big Grant Request: $70,000 to $100,000

    Term of Contract:

    June - August 2021: Expected project start date (first claim due in 8 months)

    The deadline for grantees to expend their 2021 RTP funds is October 15, 2023. The final reimbursement request and Final Report are due on December 31, 2023.

    Additional Eligibility Criteria:

    RTP grant applicants may include federal, tribal, state, county, or municipal agencies and private associations and clubs. The organization applying to the RTP must be the organization that will expend the funds and manage the grant. The RTP does not allow Tri-Party Agreements or fiscal sponsorship agreements.

    Project expenses incurred before the RTP project start date (when the Contract Agreement is signed) are ineligible for reimbursement.

    For a list of Ineligible Project Types please see

    Pre-proposal Conference:

    Training sessions will be offered virtually for prospective applicants from October through January.

    These sessions are free and highly recommended for new and returning applicants to any of these programs: Recreational Trails Program (RTP), Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program (MTSGP), Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Program, and the Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program.

    The trainings provide tips on writing a competitive application, using the grant management software to submit an application, and understanding differences and similarities between programs.

    Online trainings via Zoom will be held on the following date:
    - Thursday, January 7, 2020: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
    - Zoom Meeting -
    - Meeting ID: 939 9492 9269
    - Dial by Telephone: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 406 444 9999

    Pre-Application Information:

    The 2021 RTP application period is open from November 2, 2020 to February 1, 2021 at 3:00pm MST. Applications must be submitted online through WebGrants. Applications will not be accepted after 3:00 P.M. MST on February 1, 2021. An organization can submit only one grant application per grant cycle.

    Application Timeline:
    - Nov 2, 2020 - Application period open
    - Feb 1, 2021, 3:00 PM - Application period closed
    - Feb-April 2021 - Internal application review conducted
    - April 2021 - State Trails Advisory Committee meets to make funding recommendations
    - April 30, 2021 - Proposed awards are announced via email and posted online
    - May 2021 - 30 day public comment period for proposed awards
    - June 2021 - FEW issues final decision notice for 2021 awards

    Reimbursement Program: An entity may receive RTP reimbursement only after the entity has expended funds on an RTP-eligible expense and submitted adequate documentation.

    Match Requirement: Each RTP project must have a ratio of 80% RTP funds to 20% matching funds. Applicants may exceed the match requirement only up to 5%.

    All RTP award recipients must register in the System for Award Management (SAM) by the time of award. Grantees must renew their SAM registration annually to continue to receive reimbursement from RTP. The details and processes for registration are available at On the RTP application, you must certify your organization will complete its SAM registration by the time of award (May 2021). The process may take several months to complete.

    Contact Information:

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

    Apply Online:

    The RTP Manager at Montana FWP is Carissa Beckwith, who can be reached at or (406) 444-3343.

    URL for Full Text (RFP):

    Geographic Focus:

    USA: Montana

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