Reclamation and Development Planning Grants

The Reclamation and Developments Grant Program is transitioning to the State of Montana grant application and tracking database called WebGrants at The attachments provide instructions on how to register for an account and for how to complete an online grant application. Please call Stephanie Hester at 406-444-6691 or Alicia Stickney at 406-444-0547 for questions or technical support.

WHO:  Tribes, cities, counties, conservation districts, and other local government entities

WHAT:  Planning for natural resource projects that provide natural resource benefits in one of two categories:

·            mineral development impacts or

·            crucial state need. 

Mineral development impact projects must:

  1. Reclaim land, water or other resources adversely affected by mineral development, or
  2. Mitigate damage to public resources caused by mineral development, or
  3. Research, demonstrate, or provide technical assistance to promote the wise use of Montana minerals, or
  4. Investigate and remediate sites where hazardous wastes or regulated substances threaten public health or the environment, or
  5. Research to assess existing or potential environmental damage resulting from mineral development.

Crucial state need projects must prevent or eliminate severe and unacceptable damage to natural resources or capture extraordinary public benefit that would otherwise be lost. Public benefit from implementation of this type project must directly relate to natural resources. 

Project activities may include, but are not limited to:  (1) problem analysis, (2) feasibility or design studies, (3) environmental monitoring, (4) remedial action plans, (5) technology demonstration, (6) research, (7) construction, or (8) other related actions that lead to a full-scale project.

Funding limit:  Up to $50,000 per planning project, depending on intended planning activities.

Eligible projects that do not receive funding this cycle can resubmit in summer 2015, pending Legislative approval of additional planning funding.

For more information, visit the website at  

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution. The partnership agencies (HUD, EPA, DOT) incorporate six principles of livability into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals.

An informative webinar can be viewed by clicking here.  

Regional Plan 2015-2035

Northcentral Montana’s regional economy, frontier history, rural environments, and small towns are part of our shared identity. In 2012 and 2013, residents told us that they prefer sustainable development to either a “boom & bust” scenario or continued loss of rural population. Their input guided our planning process, which included governments, organizations, and residents of 11 counties and three reservations. Working together, Vibrant Futures Consortium partners identified common goals and developed best strategies that reflect the needs and desires of communities.

We found that every town has its own economic strategies, and every community contributes to the regional economy. Diverse communities rely on one another for services and consumers. They strive to maintain essential services such as grocery stores and gas stations, to revitalize downtown areas, to attract more businesses, and to improve transportation, infrastructure and housing.

You can download the full Regional Plan, the Regional Plan Summary, the Growth Policy Review and the Report Card which can be used in the planning process for any area.


Funding Available for Western Water and Energy Efficiency Projects

The Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec) is seeking proposals from local governments, water districts, Indian tribes, and states for its WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants. BuRec’s WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant program provides funding to communities in the Western United States to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, and carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water.

Click here to learn more.  

Brownfield Grants

  • Assessment grants (up to $200,000) provide funding to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement activities related to brownfield sites;
  • Cleanup grants (up to $200,000) provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites;
  • Revolving Loan Fund grants (up to $1 million) provide funding to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to make loans and provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities; and
  • Area-Wide Planning grants (up to $200,000) provide funding to conduct reuse planning, market studies, infrastructure upgrade planning, funding assessments, and other planning efforts.

Click here for the direct link to EPA’s website.  

Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program is administered by Montana State Parks to promote public health, economic growth, transportation infrastructure, and local community pride and identity. Grant funding associated with the program is available for Montana communities to conduct trail maintenance, build new trails, develop trailside facilities, and provide education and safety on outdoor recreation. Click here to learn more.  

MT Main Street Program Guidelines

The Montana Main Street Program (MMSP) is an initiative of the MT State Department of Commerce. The program offers technical assistance, best practices, and funding to communities throughout the state seeking to revitalize downtown areas. The program promotes historic preservation, tourism, and economic efforts of local communities. The MMSP Guidelines explain how a community can apply to become a member of the program and be eligible for funding.

Click here to learn more.  

Arts-based Community Development Investment for the Hi-line

Opportunity Link has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive $100,000 for a creative placemaking project to support vibrant rural and tribal communities in Northcentral Montana with the arts at their core. Opportunity Link will receive $100,000 to plan a Hi-Line Arts Trail and commission public art.

Contact: Andi Daniel,, 406-265-3699 for more information.  

Growth Through Agriculture Program

The Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program was established by the Montana Legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agricultural industry. GTA is a grant and loan program that supports efforts of businesses developing new agricultural products and processes. Local Food and Agricultural Development Centers (FADC) can assist in project planning and application materials. 

Click here to learn more. 

WASACT – Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Action Coordinating Team

W2ASACT or the Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Action Coordinating Team, is a group of professionals from state, federal, and non-profit organizations that finance, regulate, and/or provide technical assistance for community water and wastewater systems throughout Montana. The W2ASACT website contains grant applications, guides and tips for applications, and PowerPoint presentations for applying to 2014 water/wastewater funding.