By Bob Walker
We've talked for the past 30 years about the need for more funds to adequately address the needs of motorized recreation in Montana. Unfortunately, by the time this article gets published in the MTRN the February 1st deadline for applying for grants will have passed, however the information in this article is still newsworthy and can help raise awareness of the program. The information that follows from Michelle McNamee helps explain the program and how to apply for the grants, albeit for next year at this point.
For the OHV community, you can access funds from all four programs listed below! The RTP program sets aside 30% of funds for motorized recreation or approximately $450,000. The new Montana Trail Stewardship grant program identifies 30% or approximately $375,000 per year for motorized. The new summer motorized trail pass grant program will have approximately $250,000 available while the original OHV grant program has approximately $150,000 available. These numbers are approximate but show the vast resources available.
For the snowmobile community, clubs can access the RTP program where there is approximately $450,000 or more available for motorized, and the new Trail Stewardship grant program where there is approximately $375,000 identified for motorized. In addition to these you will continue to have the long-standing snowmobile grant program available at a later application date. That program provides more than $400,000 for grooming grants and funds for equipment.
I want to correct a false rumor that the new trail stewardship grant program will not be available to motorized recreation. This is not accurate, in fact SB 24 that established this program identifies 30% or approximately $375,000 or more that is available for motorized recreation.
Now the work begins. You can't get the money unless you apply! State parks staff has worked hard to simplify the grant application process so start now, please do not wait until the last minute to apply.
Here is some more information about the grants from Michelle McNamee
FWP just launched its new website. As a result, FWP's grant program webpages have moved and URLs have changed. All grant program information is now listed under "About FWP" in the horizontal menu at the top of the FWP homepage. From now forward, you can access the grant program webpages at: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs
For your convenience, I've also listed the individual recreation grant program pages:
- Land & Water Conservation Fund Program: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/land-and-water-conservation-fund
- Recreational Trails Program: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/recreational-trails
- Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/trail-stewardship
- Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Program: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/off-highway-vehicle
- Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/summer-motorized-trail-pass
- Snowmobile Program: https://stateparks.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/snowmobile
The URLs and links to the old FWP/State Parks webpages may no longer work. Please use those listed above to access program information and update your bookmarks. Contact me or Carissa Beckwith if you're having trouble locating specific information. Thank you for your patience with this transition.
Reminder: Applications for the RTP, Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program, OHV Program, and Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program are due on Feb 1 at 3:00pm.
Applications for the LWCF Grant Program are being accepted on a rolling basis through November 2021. Grant application materials and information can be found on the program website (URL is listed above).
Outdoor Recreation Program Manager
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks