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Grants to Montana Organizations for Noxious Weed Control and Habitat Restoration

Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP)

Montana Department Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP)


Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #182948

Grant Description

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Grants to Montana organizations for the implementation of habitat restoration projects. Funding is intended to support projects that enhance the habitats of one or more priority wildlife species by managing, controlling, and eradicating harmful weeds. Eligible activities include herbicide, mechanical, biocontrol, and re-seeding treatments.

Projects are intended to be focused on ecologically important wildlife habitats with landscape-scale benefits. Grants, which are paid in the form of reimbursed expenses, may be issued for up to five years’ duration. Priorities for funding include: landscape-scale projects lands that are open to public hunting and involve priority wildlife habitats; noxious weed infestations that directly impact habitat functions; broad partnerships involving multiple landowners; proposals with leveraging beyond the minimum match funding requirement; projects that retain or restore native plant communities.

The Montana Wildlife Habitat Improvement Act was passed into law by the 2017 Legislature. The purpose of the act is to make federal funding available to restore priority wildlife habitats by managing noxious weeds. Grant dollar expenditures are limited to herbicides and additives, biological control agents, materials required for restoration seeding, fencing for prescribed grazing management (permanent electric and barbed wire) and associated contracted services for the above treatments and improvements.

Vegetation Monitoring:

The purpose of monitoring is to evaluate change in plant communities over time. All WHIP projects are required to monitor a representative portion of the noxious weed treatments to help determine if management objectives are being met. The WHIP Administrative Rules require grantees to use repeatable quantitative and qualitative vegetation monitoring for pre- and post-treatment conditions. The following are the monitoring requirements for the type of weed treatment:

  • For herbicide and cultural treatments, conduct vegetation monitoring at representative locations during the treatment year (pre-treatment) and three consecutive years posttreatment using the WHIP Vegetation Monitoring Protocol.
  • For biocontrol treatments, monitor targeted noxious weeds and native vegetation response at the release location during the treatment year (pre-treatment) and years three and five posttreatment, and monitor for post-treatment occurrence of biocontrol agents using the WHIP Biocontrol Monitoring Protocol.
  • For prescribed grazing projects, conduct vegetation monitoring at representative locations before the implementation of the grazing plan (pre-treatment) and years three, five, and ten of the grazing plan.

Prescribed Grazing:

Treatment Requirements The WHIP program can be used for cost sharing on fencing improvements (barbed wire and permanent electric) where livestock grazing has caused a decline in native plant communities and facilitated weed infestations. Prescribed grazing treatments cannot be a standalone weed control option. Grazing improvements must be part of an integrated weed control plan with herbicide, biological control, and/or reseeding treatments for a holistic approach to reducing weed infestations while improving the overall integrity of native plant communities.

For additional information regarding grazing, including eligible expenditures, see: https://fwp.mt.gov/binaries/content/assets/fwp/aboutfwp/grants/whip/whip-application-package-instructions.pdf#page=4

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Local, state, or national organizations, either public or private, may apply for projects in Montana.

Grant proposals only from counties that meet MCA 87-5-806(2) requirements are eligible for funding from WHIP. Project sponsors also must have a current SAM Unique Entity ID or obtain one before the WHIP project can be awarded.

Administration or overhead costs are not applicable costs.

Pre-Application Information:

Application deadline: November 23, 2022 by 5:00pm

FWP strongly encourages contacting the WHIP Coordinator, Smith Wells for questions and guidance with
your project design to ensure compliance with the program requirements.

FWP will hold grant hearings in January to briefly review each complete grant application and hear grant applicants’ presentations. The Advisory Council makes funding recommendations to FWP.

Applicants new to WebGrants must register prior to accessing the application forms.

Grant applicants should work with their local FWP wildlife biologist to help determine if the proposal involves priority wildlife habitat that is directly threatened by noxious weed infestations. Applicants should include a letter of support by the local FWP wildlife biologist, as some Advisory Council members look specifically for this letter.

The applicant needs to contact each landowner within the WHIP project area to determine type of hunting access and hunter days for that landowner. Accessibility for public hunting within the project area is an important criterion for ranking WHIP applications.

The WHIP Advisory Council recommends working with the local county weed district coordinator to provide assistance with herbicide selection for the site and type of noxious weeds to be controlled.

Project sponsors need to ensure they have the minimum requirement of 25% cash match prior to requesting grant funds for a reimbursement payment.

Grant funds can only be expended by reimbursement.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$2,000,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

A single WHIP application funding request cannot exceed the $2M program funding limit.

Term of Contract:

Awarded grants can be structured to provide funding for up to five years.

A typical WHIP grant period starts July 1st and ends on June 30th of the last year of the grant project.

Contact Information:

Register and apply online: https://funding.mt.gov/index.do

For questions about WHIP, contact:
Smith Wells
406-444-7291
smith.wells@mt.gov

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, Mt 59620-0701

Phone: (406) 444-2535
Fax: (406) 444-4952

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