The Legacy Conservation Grant is a matching grant program to promote large scale conservation and restoration projects. Missoula Conservation District will accept proposals for projects that best address our goals and will result in the best use of public funds to improve resources in Missoula County. Missoula Conservation District Supervisors believe that the most effective and successful project will have demonstrable or crucial need, include broad and diverse support, and result in on the ground improvements. There is a minimum award of $10,000 and a maximum of $25,000, with limited exceptions. The District hopes to award 1 to 4 grants per calendar year.
In general, the goals of the Legacy Conservation Grant include:
- Improve and Protect Water Quality, Stream Corridors, and Riparian Habitats
- Improve and Protect Water Availability
- Promote Wise Land Use Practices and Management
- Mitigate Resource Impacts of Urban Development in Rural Areas
- Increase Public Awareness of Missoula Conservation District’s Roles and Responsibilities and the 310 Law
To begin the application process, please send a letter of intent (not to exceed 500 words) describing the project and funding needs to the Missoula Conservation District, Attn: Legacy Conservation Grant Program, 3550 Mullan Road, Suite 106, Missoula, MT 59808. The District Grants Committee will screen the letters for eligibility and request a formal proposal from applicants if necessary. Applications are accepted on a revolving basis.
Example of a Legacy Conservation Grant Project:
In late 2015, Missoula Conservation District provided $10,000 to the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited (BBCTU) for a project to improve stream function, fish passage, and sediment movement on Trail Creek near Seeley Lake, Montana. This was the last of three large irrigation diversions to be screened in the Trail/Morrell Creek watershed, tributaries to the Clearwater River. This region supports bull trout populations and genetically pure westslope cutthroat trout. Additionally, two small reaches of Trail Creek upstream of the diversion were treated for bank erosion and channel avulsion with an engineered debris jam and riparian vegetation.
The above image shows a new rock cross-vane and armored riffle specifically set at an elevation to allow fish passage, sediment movement, and to improve stream channel function. Also shown is the newly installed “McKay” style flat palate, self-cleaning fish screen with paddlewheel and headgate, sluicegate, and fish bypass pipe.