In 1999, the UCFRB Restoration Fund was established with money recovered by the State of Montana in its 1999 partial settlement of the natural resource damage lawsuit, Montana v. Atlantic Richfield Company. Between 2000 and 2011, the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program administered an annual restoration grants process funded by interest proceeds of the UCFRB Restoration Fund. As of December 2010, the Governor approved 121 grant projects for $112 million total.
In 2011, the grants process was put on hold pending consideration by the Trustee Restoration Council and Governor of changes recommended by the Advisory Council that would significantly alter the annual grant cycle process set forth in the UCFRB Restoration Plan Procedures and Criteria. In August 2011, the Trustee Restoration Council revised the Advisory Council’s proposed change, which was then the subject of public comment. In December 2011, Governor Schweitzer approved the Trustee Restoration Council’s final recommendations regarding programmatic changes that are reflected in the 2011 Final Upper Clark Fork River Basin Long Range Priorities and Fund Allocation Guidance Plan. In May 2012, the Governor approved a Final UCFRB Restoration Process Plan that describes the new process the State will use to develop restoration plans and fund restoration projects in the UCFRB with the estimated $110 million remaining from the 1999 settlement.
The NRDP funding program is currently in transition. The following guidance documents associated with the past annual grants program offer information that may be applicable to the future restoration plans that will be produced based on the final interim process plan approved by the Governor.
- Application Review Guidelines (PDF), July 2009 – guidelines based on the UCFRB Restoration Plan Procedures and Criteria that categorize the degree to which restoration projects meet or address a particular criterion. The categories provide a framework to aid in consistently evaluating and comparing projects.
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Application Process (PDF), updated March 2010
- Guidance for Recreational Projects (PDF), April 2003; updated January 2008 – background on how Montana’s natural resource damage lawsuit addressed lost recreational uses and the eligibility of recreational projects for grant funds
- Guidance for Work on Private Lands (PDF), December 2003 – assists those applying for UCFRB grant funds for a project that involves restoration activities on privately owned lands
- Guidance on Confidentiality, Procurement Provisions and Equipment Policy (PDF), updated June 2009 – outlines the requirements that applicants must follow if their application is funded, including guidance on confidentiality and equipment
- Guidance on Matching Fund Documentation (PDF), January 2008 – guidance on matching funds and sample matching fund documentation that should be submitted to NRDP for credit toward matching fund requirements
- Guidelines for Project Applications Involving Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources and Public Recreation (PDF), March 2003; updated January 2008 – helpful hints for those preparing applications for grant projects that seek to improve aquatic and terrestrial resources and associated recreational services
- Issue Paper on Conservation Easements (PDF), March 2001 – a summary of a panel discussion on the pros and cons of conservation easements. A video of the panel is available upon request from NRDP.
- MOA with Tribes and DOI (PDF), November 1998 – This Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the State, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (Tribes) and United States Department of Interior (DOI) includes the procedures to be followed by the State and grant recipients conducting restoration projects with respect to undiscovered, undocumented Tribal Cultural Resources encountered during construction work.
- Sample Statement of Work (PDF), August 2010 – five model examples of a statement of work for approved proposals to assist grant recipients with drafting this portion of their grant agreement.
- Sample Grant Agreement (PDF), December 2010 – an example of a grant agreement entered into between the grant recipient and the Natural Resource Damage Program after a project is approved
- Sample Project Abstracts (PDF), January 2008 – samples of project abstracts to assist applicants
- Sample Project Budget (Excel), January 2007 – a sample to assist applicants
- Wildlife Population Data and Habitat (an external website), March 2009 – information and GIS-based maps relating to the upper portions of the basin are available through the Montana Natural Resource Information Systems website