MT Watershed Management Grant Program

Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 28, 2019 10:59pm PST

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Conference, Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Montana

Location of residency: Montana

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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. 

Program Purpose

The Watershed Management Grant (WMG) Program goals are to provide financial support for the development and implementation of locally led watershed related planning and capacity building activities that conserve, develop, improve or preserve state water resources. These goals are aligned with Montana Code Annotated (MCA) Title 85, Chapter 1, Part 6

Funding limits

Maximum award per entity per biennium is $20,000.

Grants limits are established as:

  • Contracted Services
    • Up to $10,000 for engineering, consulting, facilitation or other support for proposed activities.
  • Materials and Supplies
    • Up to $1,000 for printing and promotional outreach materials or;
    • Up to $2,500 for planning activities*
      • *50/50 Match required for all applicants.
    • Up to $1,500 for equipment**
      • ** 50/50 Match required for all applicants; non-governmental entities ineligible.
  • Staff Time
    • Up to $10,000 may be applied to qualified activities as described in the grant agreement and applicable guidance found in this document. Funding should address planning and capacity building criteria that are aligned with program purpose.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
    • Up to $2,500 for travel, lodging, public meeting cost, relevant conference/training registration fees where elements are relevant to a local or state natural resource management plan.
  • Big Sky Watershed Corps
    • Up to $5,000 cost share of host site fee for a Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC) member whose service term will contribute to watershed health and protection, education and outreach, and/or volunteer generation in support of WMG program purpose.
    • Up to $1,000 support funding for BSWC member (may include fuel cost, lodging, training/conference registration, materials and supplies that increase BSWC member capabilities).
  • Administration
    • Will not exceed 10% of total budget.

Length of Activities

Watershed management grants are expected to be completed within two years.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible Applicants:
    • Government entities such as cities and towns, counties, conservation districts, school districts, state government, and Tribal governments.
    • Non-government entities such as watershed groups and nonprofit organizations.
  • Match
    • A match is not required for governmental entities with the exception of equipment purchases. A 50% match is required for equipment, materials and supplies related to planning activities.
    • A cost share of 50% of total costs is required for non-government entities. Match shares may be in-kind services or cash. WMG program will not pay for equipment purchases for non-government entities.
    • A government entity may sponsor a non-government entity for a watershed management grant. The sponsor must submit the application and provide project oversite.
  • Eligible Activities - Grants will be awarded for planning and capacity building activities that conserve, develop, improve or preserve state water resources. Examples of qualified activities include but are not limited to:
    • Planning Activities
      • Watershed Management planning activities that advances toward future grants or projects
      • Development of natural resource management plans
      • Staff time related to activity planning and management
      • Data collection, public meetings and other tasks related to planning
    • Capacity Building
      • Improving organizational effectiveness
      • Grant writing
      • Hosting a Big Sky Watershed Corps member
      • Professional conference(s) and training events directly related to proposed watershed management activities
      • Materials necessary for proposed activities
      • Equipment Purchase
        • A 50% match is required for equipment purchases for government entities. Non-government entities are not eligible for equipment purchases.
    • Grant administration and reporting


  • Preference will be given to organizations that have not received a DNRC Watershed Management Grant.


  • Activities that do not qualify:
    • Ongoing operational cost
      • For example: permanent staff time, rent, utilities, reoccurring/regular meetings/newsletters/media postings (i.e. quarterly meeting, monthly postings, etc.).
      • Indirect costs not relating to established scope/schedule/budget.
    • Invasive species related activities such as inventory or control of aquatic or terrestrial plants and organisms. • Political lobbying or litigation
    • Land or property acquisition
    • Food or beverages
    • Activities that limit lawful access to property (see MCA 85-1-602 (4)).