Fish, Wildlife & Parks seeks citizen advisory members for recreation grant programs

HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking applicants for three
citizen advisory boards:

State Trails Advisory Committee, Snowmobile Advisory Committee and the Off-Highway Advisory Committee.

FWP advisory boards are tasked with advising FWP on the allocation of grant funds annually for FWP-managed recreation grant programs. Member involvement includes the review of grant applications, scoring and providing recommendations to the department for the allocation of available funding. The citizen committees typically meet twice annually.

The grant programs provide both state and federal funding for a diverse variety of recreational grants annually. Projects occur statewide and include motorized and non-motorized, summer and winter, urban and backcountry.

State Trails Advisory Committee (STAC) 

The 10-member STAC advises FWP on the disbursement of approximately $1.5 million in federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds each year. The program supports a diversity of trail opportunities statewide. A federal requirement of the program is that 30% of available funding must be committed to motorized projects, 30% to non-
motorized projects and 40% to diversified (mixed) trail-use projects.

Additionally, the STAC advises FWP on the disbursement of the state-funded Montana Trail Stewardship Grant
Program. This is a new program, with funding for projects coming from a
portion of the proceeds of the Light
Vehicle Registration Program. Similar disbursement guidelines are in place as RTP concerning the support of motorized, non-motorized and diversified trail use statewide.

Currently, it is anticipated there will be approximately $1.25 million per year available to disperse.

Committee members serve a three-year term. At the end of the term, members may renew for a second term.

Seven STAC advisory positions are open: four motorized and three non-motorized. Interested citizen applicants should have broad interest in all public trail opportunities, not just a specific use, area, or recreation type.


Snowmobile Advisory Committee (SAC) 

Montana has a robust and well-managed snowmobile program, in no small part due to the dedicated volunteers who perform the winter grooming activities in their local communities.

The five-member citizen SAC advises the department on the allocation of
approximately $420,000 in grooming funds to 25 clubs annually. Additionally, funding is available to replace equipment in the grooming fleet.

The SAC advises the department on the expenditure of $400,000-$600,000 in snowmobile equipment funding each biennium.

The SAC typically meets twice yearly to discuss funding allocations and related issues concerning Montana’s snowmobile program, such as groomer
operator training, avalanche education efforts and similar common issues.

Committee members serve a three-year term. At the end of the term, members may renew for a second term.
Two SAC advisory positions are open.


Off-Highway Advisory Committee (OHVAC) 

The OHVAC is a five-member citizen advisory group that is involved with
the disbursement of grant funds that primarily benefit motorized recreational users statewide. There are two state-funded motorized grant programs: the conventional OHV program, which
typically accepts applications for and allocates up to $210,000 annually, and the Summer Motorized Recreation Trails Grant Program. Funding for this new program is anticipated to be
approximately $235,000 annually.

The OHVAC typically meets annually to review grant applications received and provide funding recommendations to the department.

Committee members serve a three-year term. At the end of the term, members may renew for a second term.
Two OHVAC advisory positions are open.


To apply, interested applicants must send a letter of interest for the specific advisory committee opening. Letters of interest are required to include:

– Name, address, telephone number and email address.

– The advisory committee that you are interested in serving on.

– A description of the types of trail-related activities you participate in, keeping in mind that we’re seeking
individuals with broad recreational backgrounds and interests, representation from all parts of Montana, and
similar factors.

– The names of any recreational organizations to which you belong.

– Any other experience, perspectives, interests or similar factors you may wish offer that will benefit decisions concerning the disbursement of these recreational grant funds annually.


Interested citizens should have a strong interest in diversified recreation throughout Montana and the improvements possible via these grant opportunities.

For more information, contact
Colleen Furthmyre at 406-444-3750.

Letters of interest should be emailed to Furthmyre at

The deadline for letters of interest is Friday, June 4, 2021.


Montana Department of Agriculture

issues reminder to sow safe seeds

Submitted by Montana Department of Agriculture


Helena, Mont. – As people across the state gear up to plant their gardens this spring, the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding growers about the importance of buying and planting seeds from licensed seed dealers to protect against invasive species and plant diseases.

“Spring is such an exciting time for agriculture in Montana, from our farmers and ranchers out in the field to the folks planting gardens in their backyard,” said Director Mike Foster. “Along with this excitement comes a responsibility to look after our state by purchasing seeds from trustworthy sources. Please don’t
hesitate to reach out to our Department to ensure that your seeds are safe before planting them.”

Last year, residents in all 50 states received unsolicited “mystery seeds” through the mail that originated in China causing federal and state agencies to urge recipients not to plant them, and to contact their state regulatory officials to submit them for testing or dispose of them instead. Close to 150 seed packages were received in Montana and sent to USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection
Service (APHIS) for testing. A mix of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb and weed species were discovered and fortunately determined not to be severely hazardous. In this case, the unsolicited seeds appear to have been sent as part of a brushing scam designed to boost e-commerce rankings for companies by
shipping items to unknowing individuals and then creating false profiles and
fabricated positive reviews.

Whether it be as part of a brushing scam or otherwise, planting unknown or unsolicited seeds can introduce harmful pests and/or diseases. To ensure your seeds are safe, please: check to confirm the seed species information is printed
on the seed package, do not plant any seeds of unknown species or origin, verify seed suppliers are licensed in MT at or call MDA at
(406) 444-3144.

The Federal Seed Act and Montana Seed Laws require seed sellers and distributors to plainly label their packages. The MDA Seed Program ensures that seeds offered for sale in Montana are truthfully labeled for identity, purity, and viability. To learn more, visit the Montana Department of Agriculture’s web page at

The Montana Department of Agriculture is serving Montana Agriculture
and growing prosperity under the Big Sky. For more information on department programs and services, visit