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Watershed Management Grant (WMG) Program

Grants to Montana Agencies and Nonprofits for
Natural Resources Management and Planning

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Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) - Conservation and Resource Development Division

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Grants of up to $20,000 to Montana nonprofit organizations and government agencies to develop and implement locally-driven watershed management projects. Funding may be requested for projects that measurably develop, conserve, preserve, and manage natural resources.


The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) administers a renewable resource grant and loan (RRGL) program to enhance Montana's renewable resources through projects that measurably conserve, develop, manage, or preserve resources. The RRGL program was established by the Montana Legislature as described in Montana Code Annotated Title 85, Chapter 1, Part 6. RRGL programs include renewable resource project grants and planning grants, irrigation development grants, emergency grants, private septic loans, private grants, and this Watershed Management Grant Program.


The Watershed Management Grant Program goals are to provide financial support for the development and implementation of locally led watershed resource management activities that are consistent with the statutory purpose of the RRGL program.

Examples of qualified activities include, but are not necessarily limited to:
-Implementation of watershed management projects;
-Development of planning documents;
-Public meetings, data collection, and other tasks related to planning;
-Staff time related to project planning and management;
-Grant writing;
-Hosting a Big Sky Watershed Corps member; and
-Professional conference attendance.

Watershed Management Grant applications will be evaluated and ranked based on the following criteria:
-Evidence of existence of a local renewable resource concern that will be addressed;
-Measurability of anticipated benefits to renewable resources;
-Specificity of proposed activities and project purpose;
-Connection to local and state natural resource plans;
-Evidence demonstrating local landowner, community and stakeholder participation in organization; and
-Financial statements and annual budget demonstrate fiscal accountability.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178570

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $20,000 per grantee per biennium.

Grants are allowable up to the limits below:
-$10,000 of applicant staff time for developing or implementing elements of a local or state natural resource management plan.
-$5,000 cost share of host site fee for a Big Sky Watershed Corps member whose service term will contribute to watershed health and protection, education and outreach, and/or volunteer generation in support of a local or state natural resource management plan.
-$2,500 for travel costs and conference, seminar or education event registration where elements are relevant to a local or state natural resource management plan.
-$2,500 for meeting costs to convene landowners and partners to coordinate locally led natural resource stewardship initiatives in support of elements in a local or state natural resource management plan.

Term of Contract:

Each award shall not exceed two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
-Local government, state government, and tribal government entities
-Nonprofit entities may apply with local government sponsorship OR
-Non-government entity may apply with match requirement

Activities that do not qualify:
-Political lobbying or litigation
-Program costs, rent, utilities, or other operational costs.
-Invasive species related activities-control/inventory of aquatic or terrestrial plants and/or organisms (use DNRC Resource Development Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program).
-Land or property acquisition

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is November 15, 2018. Submit applications online.

Local government, state government, and tribal government entities: DNRC will provide 100% reimbursement for eligible activities. No cost share match is required.

Non-government applicants: A cost share of 50% of total project costs must be provided. Match may be in-kind services or cash.

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Questions? Contact
Brad Catron, Watershed Management Grant Manager

Physical Address:
1539 11th Avenue
Helena, MT 59601-4567

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana