The annual application period for the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP), a grant funding program administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, will open Sept. 1.
The purpose of WHIP is to accomplish large-scale restoration of private and publicly owned high-priority wildlife habitats through noxious weed management. Grant expenditures are limited to herbicide, mechanical, biocontrol and re-seeding treatments, specifically to restore wildlife habitat functions. Grazing management improvements may also be funded through the program to restore native wildlife habitats and reduce susceptibility to noxious weed invasion.
Grant awards are based on eligibility and competitive ranking. To qualify for funding, projects must:
enhance ecologically important wildlife habitat through management of noxious weeds that directly threaten habitat functions
use a landscape scale approach
have a reasonable probability of treatment effectiveness
include a minimum 25% non-federal cash match
In addition to considering eligibility factors, ranking criteria includes:
number of funding partners and amount of contributions
number of landowners involved
accessibility of participating lands for public hunting
Awarded grants can be structured to provide funding for up to five years. Total available funding is up to $2 million annually; no single grant request can exceed this amount.
WHIP is accepting grant applications online through WebGrants. Starting Sept. 1, grant applicants can find the FWP Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program Grant Cycle 2023 funding opportunity at https://funding.mt.gov. Applicants new to WebGrants must register prior to accessing the application forms. For more information about the WHIP Program and grant application instructions, visit the WHIP webpage at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/grant-programs/wildlife-habitat-improvement.
WHIP applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m., Nov. 23, to be considered for funding in 2023. If you have questions about applying for a WHIP grant or accessing the application forms, contact Smith Wells, WHIP coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-7291.