Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust

About The Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust

The Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust was established by the U.S. Congress in 1998, funded by proceeds from the sale of cabin sites on Canyon Ferry Reservoir that had previously been leased from the Federal government.

The purpose of the trust is to provide a permanent source of funding through grants for the acquisition of publicly accessible land in Montana in order to:

  • Photo of Dillon High TrailsRestore and conserve fisheries habitat, including riparian habitat,
  • Restore and conserve wildlife habitat,
  • Enhance public hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities, and
  • Improve public access to public lands.

By 2004, the initial value of this trust was $14,945,403.  As of December 31, 2017 the value of the Trust has grown to approximately $25,156,837. Grants to date are $9,055,600, which includes $4,370,950 inside the Missouri River Watershed and $4,684,650 across the rest of the state.

As a result of our conservative investment strategy, investments since inception have earned a net of 6.71%, of which 4% was invested in projects across Montana and 2.71% was reinvested in the Trust. Actual Investment Allocation Percentages are depicted on this chart. 

Funds are managed according to guidelines in the Trust Plan.

Grants are awarded annually from a portion of the interest generated by the Trust. Granting cycles begin in January with awards announced in June. Application forms and instructions are available on this website under Apply For Grants.

Two independent oversight boards, a Joint State-Federal Board and a Citizen’s Advisory Board, are responsible for ensuring the goals of the Trust are met.  Board meetings are held quarterly, published regionally and on this website; public participation is encouraged. Meeting schedule.

All project applicants awarded Trust funding are allowed up to two years to complete their projects. Not all projects awarded funding are completed. The project funds are retained by the Trust until a project is complete; if unused they are then available for other project funding.

Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 1993
Helena, MT 59624
Phone: 406-897-2580 or Email:

Latest News

The 2018 funding cycle will begin on 1/31/18. There will be $1,000,000 available for project funding. Forms available for download.

The next meeting of the Joint Federal-State Board will be held on May 15, 2018. Please check the meeting schedule page for meeting location.

For more information, please call Deb Lane at 406-461-9524.