January 17, 2007
The Montana Natural Resource Damage Program has announced the release of applications for $8.5 million in 2007 grant funds for projects to restore the Upper Clark Fork River Basin.
The restoration projects will be funded with interest generated from the $130 million Restoration Fund established by the state in 1999 from settlement of several portions of its lawsuit against ARCO. The suit sought compensation for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin caused by decades of mining and smelting in the Butte and Anaconda areas by ARCO and its predecessors. To date, about $43 million has been awarded to 62 grant projects that will improve the Basin’s fish and wildlife habitat and populations, public recreation opportunities, and public drinking water supplies.
Government agencies, private entities and individuals may apply for grant funds for projects that will restore or replace the natural resources in the basin. Grant funds may also be used for developing future grant proposals or for conducting monitoring, research and education activities related to restoration of natural resources in the basin. Only projects that would be located in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin are eligible for funding, subject to limited exceptions.
Applications and guidance materials are available upon request from the Natural Resource Damage Program at 444-0205 or on the Department of Justice website. The deadline for grant applications for more than $25,000 is Friday March 9. Grant applications for $25,000 or less may be submitted on a continuous basis throughout the year. Applicants requesting more than $25,000 must use a long-form application, and there is a short form for applicants requesting $25,000 or less.
The NRDP will hold two workshops for those interested in applying for restoration grants. Workshops will be held:
* Tuesday, January 30
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Butte Red Lion Inn, 2100 Cornell, Butte
* Thursday, February 1
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Double Tree Hotel, 100 Madison, Missoula