DOJ: News Release

Applications Available for Clark Fork Restoration Grants

HELENA – Applications for $8.5 million in 2005 grant funds for projects to restore the Upper Clark Fork River Basin are now available, Kathleen Coleman, Program Specialist for the Natural Resource Damage Program announced Friday.

“We are starting the sixth year of the program that seeks to return the Basin to a healthy ecosystem,” Coleman said. Grant applications for over $25,000 must be submitted by March 4, 2005. Grant applications for $25,000 or less may be submitted on a continuous basis throughout the year. Two application forms are available – a long form for applicants requesting more than $25,000 and a short form for applicants requesting $25,000 or less.

The restoration projects will be funded by interest from the $130 million Restoration Fund established by the state in 1999 from settlement of several portions of its lawsuit against ARCO. The suit sought compensation for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin caused by decades of mining and smelting in the Butte and Anaconda areas by ARCO and its predecessors. To date, about $29 million has been awarded to projects that will improve the Basin’s fish and wildlife habitat and populations, public recreation opportunities and public drinking water supplies.

Government agencies, private entities and individuals may apply for grant funds for projects that will restore or replace the natural resources in the Basin. Grant funds may also be used for developing future grant proposals or for conducting monitoring, research and education activities related to restoration of natural resources in the basin. Only projects that would be located in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin are eligible for funding.

Once the applications are received, the Natural Resource Damage Program will consult with various governmental agencies and the Upper Clark Fork River Basin Advisory Council to prepare draft funding recommendations. Recommendations are then considered by the Trustee Restoration Council, which consists of the governor’s chief of staff, directors of the state’s three natural resource agencies, the attorney general and the chairman of the advisory council. After a public comment period, the Trustee Restoration Council makes recommendations to the governor, and he is expected to make final funding decisions on proposals over $25,000 in December 2005.

The Trustee Restoration Council makes final funding decisions on proposals of $25,000 or less.

There will be two workshops for those interested in applying for Restoration Grants.

Tuesday, January 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express Riverside
1021 E. Broadway

Thursday, January 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Butte Red Lion Inn
2100 Cornell

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