Phillips County is borders on Canada in North Central Montana. The Missouri River and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge lie at the southern border of the county. The population of the Phillips County is 4,074, with about 935 people living in the town of Malta, the County Seat. Not quite half of the people in Phillips County live on farms and ranches. The county+IBk-s 5,208 square miles include topography ranging from high plains to the Little Rocky Mountains. Most of the land cover is rangeland and a large portion of the land is federally owned. A portion of the Fort Belknap Reservation is within Phillips County.
Agriculture and natural resource extraction are the dominant industries in Phillips County. A relatively large number of acres are dedicated to producing feed and forage for livestock. Dryland wheat is the predominant crop and about forty-four percent of the forage is alfalfa hay. Most of the area+IBk-s 11-14 inches of annual precipitation falls as rain during the spring and early summer. The timing of the precipitation is what makes dryland farming in area possible. The NRCS office, located in Shelby, 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 Phillips County Landowners
- Phillips County Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- Conversion Aversion Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- Big Game Habitat Improvement RCPP Project
- Hydration for Migration Targeted Implementation Plan (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.