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 Lazy J Cross Restore 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, 2014 the value of the Trust has grown to approximately $23,120,095. Grants to date are $6,885,600, which includes $3,355,950 inside the Missouri River Watershed and $3,329,650 across the rest of the state.

As a result of our conservative investment strategy, investments earned a net of 9%, of which 4% was invested in projects across Montana and 5% 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 February 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.


Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 1993
Helena, MT 59624
Phone: 406-458-0389 or Email:

Latest News

The Trust will make $1,000,000 available for 2015 project grants. You may download forms and instructions on our grant application page.

The next meeting of the Joint Federal-State Board will be held on May 12, 2015. Please check the meeting schedule page for meeting location.

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