Petroleum County is located in Central Montana with the Mussellshell River bordering to the East and the Missouri River bordering to the North. Landscape in the county is generally rolling prairie and sagebrush steppe with areas of timbered sandstone ridges. Breaks areas along the Missouri and Mussellshell rivers create a broken, timbered landscape that falls away to cottonwood and willow river bottoms. Nearly half (42 percent) of the county’s 1,653 square miles is publicly owned land. The county seat is Winnett.
Stock growers, homesteaders, petroleum producer have all played important roles in the county’s history and development. Today, beef production is the main economic enterprise in Petroleum County, though wildlife and recreation are also large economic drivers. The majority of the land in the county is rangeland, pastureland or grazable forest. Cropland makes up just 14 percent. The main crops are wheat, barley, alfalfa and grass hay. The NRCS office, located in Winnett, offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in natural resource conservation based on a focused approach using long range planning with local input.
Current Financial Assistance Opportunities for Petroleum County Landowners
- Big Game Habitat Improvement RCPP Project
- Tin Can Hill Road Fuels Reduction Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- Save Our Soils Great Falls Area TIP
In addition to these local projects, producers may also apply for statewide programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, national Environmental Quality Incentives Program initiatives, and conservation easement programs. For more information on these and other programs, see State Programs and Initiatives on the NRCS Montana webpage.