*Release from the Soil &Water Conservation Districts of MT*
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The Ranching for Rivers promotes the use of “riparian pastures” for improvement of fisheries habitat, in-stream flows, and establishment of cottonwoods, willows, and other woody riparian species. A riparian pasture is a relatively small pasture that can still be grazed for a portion of the year. Benefits of riparian pastures include improved management flexibility, the ability to use livestock grazing to manage weeds and overgrown vegetation, improved access for wildlife to stream areas, and decreased maintenance costs of fencing and off-stream water resources.
Landowners, Conservation Districts, and Watershed Groups who are working within areas with a DEQ-approved Watershed Restoration Plan are encouraged to apply for program funding for identified projects. More information and application materials can be found below:
- Program Information and Application Instructions
- Ranching for Rivers Project Application
- Applications will be accepted on a rolling base for 2020. Completed applications or questions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Successes on the Missouri and Milk Rivers
In early 2016, SWCDM partnered with the Missouri River Conservation Districts Council (MRCDC) to launch the Ranching for Rivers pilot program. Five projects were funded through this pilot program, which helped ranchers develop riparian pastures on their lands by providing 50% cost-share for riparian fencing and related infrastructure (water gaps, off-site tanks, etc) projects. Altogether, the program resulted in over 10 miles of riparian pasture/fencing projects on the Missouri and Milk Rivers. One of the program participants was Dick and Connie Iversen, Richland County ranchers near Culbertson. You can read more about how the project unfolded here.
If you or your Conservation District are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Stephanie Adams at email@example.com. The MRCDC will work to access more funding dollars for R4R that may not be tied to an area with a WRP, please stay tuned.