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Funding for Developing Watershed Groups and Building Group Capacity

The Bureau of Reclamation has announced its annual Water SMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I Grants. This program provides funding for local communities to develop a watershed group, complete watershed management planning activities, or design watershed management activities. Applicants may request up to $100,000 for projects to be completed within two years.

Funding is available to watershed groups, tribal nations, local and special districts (e.g., irrigation, water, and conservation districts), local governmental entities, interstate organizations, and non-profit organizations. 

You can view the organizations/projects funded through the previous cycle by visiting this link. Full details on the opportunity are available on by searching for opportunity number BOR-DO-21-F003, and you can also click here for the funding opportunity announcement. Applications are due on January 19, 2021, at 4 pm MST (make sure you have an account through before beginning the application process; creating a new account can take a few days).

The Bureau of Reclamation recently hosted a webinar to discuss eligible applicants and project types, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for this funding opportunity (click here for the recording).

$4.5 Million Available for Cross-Boundary Forest Restoration and Management Projects

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) has $4.5 million available to fund cross-boundary, on-the-ground forest restoration and management work that aligns with the Montana Forest Action Plan. The state funding will be matched with $500,000 in grants from the USDA Forest Service. Successful award amounts for projects that cross ownership boundaries are expected to be between $50,000 and $500,000. The funds will be available to federal, state, tribal, and local governments, forest collaboratives and watershed groups, as well as contractors, private forest landowners, nonprofit organizations, and other relevant partners.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) submission period begins December 1, 2020, with all project proposals due on January 29, 2021. Project proposals will be scored by the newly formed Montana Forest Action Plan Implementation Committee. Once projects are selected, funding will be allocated by DNRC.

DNRC will host informational sessions about the RFP process to answer questions and explain eligibility. Those sessions are scheduled for December 10 and December 16, 2020, and January 12, 2021. To attend one of the sessions, participants should email for the meeting information. It is strongly recommended that interested applicants attend one of these meetings or contact the DNRC to help determine eligibility.

For additional information on the RFP, please visit or email

Guest Blog Post: Volunteer Monitoring Programs and Resources

By: Adam Sigler and Claire Bickford, MSU Extension Water Quality

The Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Montana Watershed Coordination Council (MWCC), and MSUEWQ have been partnering to provide technical assistance to volunteer monitoring groups for over 10 years. Click here to learn more about these efforts and the resources available to support volunteer water monitoring programs in Montana.

River Access Restoration on the Upper Gallatin

The Gallatin River Task Force (GRTF) is celebrating the successes and ongoing work of their Upper Gallatin River Access Restoration Program with this new video. Since 2015, GRTF has been working with the Custer Gallatin National Forest to assess recreation use and access sites in the Gallatin Canyon; raise money; expand and restore river access sites; improve water quality; and plan for more projects in the coming years. 
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The Montana Watershed Coordination Council · 332 Fuller Avenue, Helena, MT, United States · Helena, Mt 59601 · USA

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