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Applications Open!

MACD is currently accepting new applications for the Ranching for Rivers program. Read below for more information.

The Ranching for Rivers Program is a cost-share program designed to assist landowners in protecting riparian health through improved ranching practices. Through the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Ranching for Rivers offers 50% cost-share for fencing material, off-site water infrastructure, and developing grazing management plans. Funding is also available for Conservation Districts and Watershed Groups to provide technical assistance on ranching management projects to local landowners in their area.

Landowners, Conservation Districts, and Watershed Groups who are working within areas with a DEQ-approved Total Maximum Daily Load Plan / Watershed Restoration Plan are encouraged to apply for program funding for identified projects. More information and application materials can be found below:

Ranching For Rivers Project Timeline

Success on the Missouri and Milk River

In early 2016, SWCDM partnered with the Missouri River Conservation Districts Council (MRCDC) to launch the Ranching for Rivers pilot program. Five projects were funded through this pilot program, which helped ranchers develop riparian pastures on their lands by providing 50% cost-share for riparian fencing and related infrastructure (water gaps, off-site tanks, etc) projects. Altogether, the program resulted in over 10 miles of riparian pasture/fencing projects on the Missouri and Milk Rivers. One of the program participants was Dick and Connie Iversen, Richland County ranchers near Culbertson. You can read more about how the project unfolded here.

If you or your Conservation District are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Brenna Rietmann at  Thank you to Rachel Frost and the Missouri River Conservation Districts Council for bringing this program to fruition and coordinating with landowners, MRCDC member districts for their participation, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)for project funding.

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Published quarterly, The Montana Conservationist features stories about conservation districts and our partners.

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