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NRCS employee and producer examine field of no-till wheat in Petroleum County, Montana

Montana Focused Conservation

In Montana, NRCS uses a “Focused Conservation” strategy to guide its EQIP investments. Montana Focused Conservation begins with goals identified in local-level Long Range Plans. Based on those plans, NRCS develops Targeted Implementation Plans (TIPs) to guide on-the-ground implementation.

Montana’s Focused Conservation Is

  • Locally Led: NRCS and conservation districts convene local working groups to gather input from farmers, ranchers, conservation partners and other members of the community to develop a vision for their county.
  • Partner-Centric: NRCS works with local, state, federal, and tribal partners and with nongovernmental organizations to strategically focus agency investments on the highest-priority resource needs in Montana.
  • Cost Effective: By collaborating with partners, NRCS leverages additional funding sources from other groups to make the most effective use of limited federal conservation dollars. Leveraging funds increases the total conservation investment and provides an economic stimulus to local and regional economies.
  • Focused and Targeted: Instead of funding conservation projects on a scattered, farm-by-farm approach, NRCS targets its investments in very specific areas to achieve clearly defined natural resource goals as identified by local partners. This approach harnesses the power of multiple landowners in one area undertaking similar conservation projects to achieve a regional or landscape-scale result.
  • Results-Oriented: The focused approach emphasizes planning with the end result in mind. NRCS staff work with local partners to set measurable goals and to track and achieve meaningful conservation results.

Targeted Implementation Plans (TIPs)

A rancher and his dogs check fence lines in open country.

TIPs explain:

  • How outreach will ensure participation
  • How natural resource objectives will be accomplished
  • Which conservation systems will best address resource concerns
  • How partnerships will be leveraged
  • How outcomes will be measured and reported

General Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding and funding for special projects in Montana is directed to the highest-ranking Targeted Implementation Plans. NRCS commits funds to TIPs for the duration of the plans, usually two to three years. State-wide and national programs and initiatives still exist, and Montana landowners can participate in them as they have in the past.

See What's Available in My County? for current, local funding opportunities.

Stakeholder meeting in Winnett, Montana

Local Working Groups

Each year, NRCS convenes local working groups to gather input from farmers, ranchers, conservation partners and other members of the community to develop or renew its long range plan. They also help develop or reassess Targeted Implementation Plans.