85-1-602. Objectives. (1) The department shall administer a renewable resource grant and loan program to enhance Montana's renewable resources through projects that measurably conserve, develop, manage, or preserve resources. Either grants or loans may be provided to fund the following:
(a) feasibility, design, research, and resource assessment studies;
(b) preparation of construction, rehabilitation, or production plans; and
(c) construction, rehabilitation, production, education, or other implementation efforts.
(2) Projects that may enhance renewable resources in Montana include but are not limited to:
(a) development of natural resource-based recreation;
(b) development of natural, offstream, and tributary storage;
(c) improvement of water use efficiency, including development of new, efficient water systems, rehabilitation of older, less efficient water systems, and acquisition and installation of measuring devices required under 85-2-113; monitoring; and development of state, tribal, and federal water projects;
(d) water-related projects that improve water quality, including livestock containment facility projects, soil and range health projects, and the maintenance and repair of source watersheds;
(e) water-related projects that improve water quantity, including streamflows and water storage in existing natural systems, such as riparian areas, flood plains, and wetlands;
(f) advancement of farming practices that reduce agricultural chemical use; and
(g) projects that facilitate the use of alternative renewable energy sources, as defined in 15-6-225.
(3) The renewable resource grant and loan program is the key implementation portion of the state water plan and must be administered to encourage grant and loan applications for projects designed to accomplish the objectives of the plan.
(4) A grant or loan may not be awarded to a project that affects source watersheds or soil and range health if the project would reduce, restrict, or prohibit any lawful access to the property that existed prior to the project's implementation. This subsection does not apply to access that is temporarily created, granted, or reduced due to project operations.