HELENA — The Broadwater Conservation District with the help of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has put together a grant for environmental rehabilitation for those whose property was affected by either the Woods Creek or Deep Creek Canyon Fires.
The two fires caused a cumulative impact of over 60,000 acres burned. Both fires burned in Broadwater County and caused thousands of dollars in damages. The current grant program works to give financial assistance for natural resource-related projects addressing forestry, soil erosion mitigation, stream protection, landslide prevention, weed mitigation/control, and related projects.
Since this program was started in December, they’ve only had six applicants and of those two have been approved for grants. Folks can only apply for grants after they’ve had the work done and receipts are in hand. The grants are capped at $5,000 each for incidents that occurred after July 10 of 2021. Because the total project amount is only $20,000, Broadwater Conservation District tells me that they’re willing to reach back out to the government in order to receive more funding. And that if that doesn’t work, they have a reserve of money that can be utilized for such purposes.
LaRinda Spencer, Conservation District Administrator, tells me that the hardest part is trying to decide how to dole out the money to help.
“It is definitely hard on the supervisors, the board of supervisors, to make these decisions because these are their neighbors and they know there's so much need out there, it's unreal. But at least they can help with some part,” says Spencer.
More information about how to apply for a grant can be found here.