HELENA, Mont. — Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a $3 million investment to fund projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.
“As we’ve seen time and time again, managed forests mean less severe wildfires, more recreational opportunities, more habitat for wildlife, and more jobs in our communities,” Governor Gianforte said. “We’re proud to invest in Montana communities and locally-driven projects to address the forest health crisis and reduce vulnerability to wildfire.”
Receiving nearly three dozen applications for funding, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) awarded funding to eleven projects, with each receiving between $60,000 and $500,000.
Funding for the projects comes from the state’s Fire Suppression Fund, which the governor seeks to nearly triple in his Budget for Montana Families.
DNRC selected the projects based on their alignment with the goals and strategies of theMontana Forest Action Plan and the cooperation of multiple partners to achieve cross-boundary work. The selected projects are expected to treat up to 6,000 acres of state, federal, and private lands.
Projects include fuel reduction in the wildland urban interface, cross-boundary forest health restoration, public education, as well as commercial and non-commercial fuels work.
“Working with our partners on cross-boundary projects is the only way we can successfully improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk,” said DNRC Director Amanda Kaster. “I appreciate partners working together at the local level to achieve our goals and protect our communities, infrastructure, and natural resources.”
Selected projects and general project locations include the following:
Lower Musselshell Hazardous Forest Fuels Reduction Program Project
Project Area: Musselshell and Golden Valley counties in the Bull Mountain area
Pattee Canyon Wildfire Mitigation Project
Project Area: Pattee Canyon, Missoula, MT
Upper Rock Creek Forest Stewardship Project
Project Area: Granite County
Island Lake Fuels Project
Project Area: Lincoln County
Little Snowies Boundary Partnership Project
Project Area: Fergus County
Danielson Forest Health and Fuels Treatment Project
Project Area: Kalispell
Granite Creek Fuels Mitigation and Wildfire Risk Reduction Project
Project Area: Madison County
Stillwater Watershed Forest Restoration Project
Project Area: Southern Stillwater County
Green Diamond Resource Company Project
Project Area: Flathead County
Custer County Fuels Reduction Project
Project Area: Custer County
Columbus Rural Fire WUI Fuels Reduction
Project Area: Stillwater County
More project information and updates will be available in the coming weeks. Project areas may be subject to change dependent on signed agreements. For additional information on the Montana Forest Action Plan, please visit www.montanatforestactionplan.org.