FWP Awards Additional Grants to Local Recreation Organizations

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks granted $1.5 million to 36 groups focused on trail building and maintenance

By Micah Drew
A trail near the Big Mountain Trailhead leading toward Haskill Basin on Whitefish Trails system on May 13, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has awarded seven local recreation-focused nonprofits nearly $275,000 in funding through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for trail-related projects in 2024. The local groups were among 47 project proposals considered by the state to receive nearly $1.5 million in funding.

Northwest Montana organization receiving grant funding include:

Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, $35,000. Volunteer stewardship projects in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

Flathead Snowmobile Association, $92,000. Funds will go towards the Flathead Snowmobile Association’s grooming operations in Canyon Creek, Olney and the Upper Whitefish Area.

Foy’s to Blacktail Trails, $20,000. Grant will be spent on trail work including Emmons Ridge drainage and naturalization projects.

Glacier Nordic Club, $32,000. The Glacier Nordic Club grooms several trail systems around the Flathead Valley, including the Big Mountain Nordic Trails.

Kootenai Cross-Country Ski Club, $21,000. The Kootenai Nordic Club will purchase updated grooming equipment to help maintain 13 miles of ski trails in the Flower Creek drainage near Libby.

USFS-Flathead Avalanche Center, $22,608. The Flathead Avalanche Center has five full-time avalanche forecasters that produce daily advisories from December through April, and provides avalanche education throughout the winter.

Whitefish Legacy Partners, $50,000. The Whitefish Legacy Partners manage the 47-mile Whitefish Trail, and are currently planning expansions to the Smith Lake-Swift Creek areas.

The RTP is funded through the the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represents a portion of motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use, such as by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and off-highway light vehicles. Eligible projects include development and rehabilitation work on urban, rural and backcountry trails; planning and construction of community trails; snowmobile and cross-country ski trail maintenance and grooming operations; and a variety of trail stewardship and safety education programs.