Helena, Mont. - Counties, conservation districts, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators across Montana will have more resources in the battle against noxious weeds after the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded over $1.6 million in grants from the Noxious Weed Trust Fund.
The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council reviewed 74 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant applications requesting more than $1.7 million and recommended awards totaling more than $1.6 million for education, research, and cooperative noxious weed management projects. In total, 70 grant proposals were approved for funding awards, including 49 local cooperative projects, 10 research projects, and 11 education projects.
“Noxious weeds are one of the biggest threats facing Montana’s lands today,” said MDA Director, Ben Thomas. “The importance of these grants can’t be understated; these groups are the boots on the ground in the war against noxious weeds and we will continue to make these efforts a priority.”
In addition to the $1.6 million grant hearing awards, each of the 56 counties and 7 reservations in the state are eligible to receive $7,500 per year, bringing the 2017 awards to more than $2 million. A compiled list of award recipients is available at http://agr.mt.gov/Noxious-Weed-Trust-Fund-Grants.
The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1985. The advisory council reviews applications, hears applicant testimony, and provides funding recommendations to the director for final approval. Funding is typically passed through a governmental organization, local weed district, conservation district, extension office, or university.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.