MONTANA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TRUST PLAN
It is the purpose of this Trust Plan to provide direction and guidance to the Citizens Advisory Board (CAB), Trust Manager, and Joint State Federal Board (JSFB) in the performance of their duties under the provisions of the Canyon Ferry Reservoir Act; October 23, 1998.
The objective of the Trust is to acquire publicly accessible land and interests in land, including access easements and conservation easements in the state from willing sellers at no more than fair market value to:
Not more than 50 percent of the income from the Trust in any year shall be used outside the watershed of the Missouri River in the State of Montana, from Holter Dam upstream to the confluence of the Jefferson River, Gallatin River, and Madison River. See attachment for a map and description of the local purposes area inside of the watershed.
The Trust will not commit funding for infrastructure unless it serves an integral function in the acquisition of publicly accessible lands or interest in lands.
The Trust will not commit funding to reduce debt on an already purchased property.
Land or interests in land purchased with Trust funds and held by a non-governmental entity may only be transferred with the concurrence of the Trust and, unless otherwise allowed, may only be transferred in the form of a donation.
The principal of the Trust shall remain inviolate and not available for disbursement.
The CAB is an independent board that will consult with the JSFB, the Trust Manager, and the Montana Association of Counties in the development and periodic updating of the Trust Plan. The CAB will retain the necessary clerical and administrative support to facilitate the solicitation of grant proposals, identify opportunities for acquisitions, provide research into the rating criteria of proposed projects, and make recommendations on the merits of various projects in relationship to the purposes of the Trust.
The JSFB will review the CAB’s recommendations, consider public comments, and ensure that the project meets the intent of the legislation. If the project is approved by a majority vote then the JSFB will submit a request to the Trust Manager for disbursement of funds. Upon request of the CAB, the JSFB will assist with technical or administrative support to the greatest extent possible.
4. Objectives of the Trust Plan
The Trust Plan will be designed to maximize the effectiveness of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust expenditures by considering:
A. Public needs and requests
The CAB will accomplish this goal through interaction with state and locally based organizations, agencies, and individuals involved in conservation and public access issues.
B. Availability of property
The CAB will develop a five year strategic plan that addresses mechanisms to solicit proposals from interested parties for grants as well as the capability to independently seek out and identify opportunities that further the purposes of the Trust. It will develop a database of existing conservation easements, public lands, and areas of high priority for future opportunities involving conservation and access initiatives.
C. Alternate funding
The CAB will consider the possibilities of alternate funding when ranking grant proposals. Greater emphasis will be placed on projects that meet the goals of the Trust but may not be fundable by other sources.
D. Matching funds
The CAB will work collaboratively with other organizations, agencies, and individuals to leverage funding for grant proposals meeting the purposes of the Trust.
5. Solicitation of Project Proposals
6. Administrative Disbursements
B. Requests for professional services, i.e. legal opinions, website updates, etc., will originate with a request from the CAB with the concurrence of the JSFB and Trust Manager.