Ranching for Rivers is a program designed to assist landowners with riparian pasture/fencing projects to help manage riparian land by offering a 50% cost-share for fencing material, off-site water infrastructure and developing grazing management plans. Riparian pastures are a great alternative to complete livestock exclusion and provide many operation benefits to the producer, while also enhancing and protecting the riparian resource.
Ranching for Rivers is offered through a partnership between MRCDC and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Montana (SWCDM). 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 basis for 2020. Completed applications or questions should be submitted to email@example.com
Successes on the Missouri and Milk River
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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.