Ranching for Rivers, a program through the Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Montana, is a new approach to managing livestock within riparian areas. The program, which began in 2016, provides cost-share funds to landowners. By providing them with the needed resources to voluntarily construct fences and/or other infrastructure (crossings, water gaps, offsite water, etc.), Ranching for Rivers enables landowners to better manage the riparian resources on their land.
The program provides cost-share that can cover up to 50 percent of the expenses including equipment, materials and construction costs. The funds can be combined with other funding sources to further reduce the out-of-pocket cost to landowners. Unlike EQIP, landowners do not have to financially qualify for the assistance. Each project is required to submit a grazing management plan for the project area, developed in conjunction with a professional range specialist and approved by the landowner, by the end of the project period.
The first round of applications are due on June 15, 2018. Late applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and considered for the next call for applications review period (Fall 2018). For more information, check out the solicitation and the application.