Montana State Legislature

Agency: Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

*Navigate the categories below for more information about the DNRC

The department is responsible for managing state trust land; protecting Montana’s natural resources from wildfire; promoting stewardship of state water, soil, forest, and rangeland resources; providing assistance to the conservation districts; providing natural resource conservation education; and providing support to the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation and other commissions and advisory councils.

The department consists of six divisions with the following functions:

  • The Director's Office (60.75 FTE) provides management and administrative services for the department. This includes activities such as legal, human resources, financial, information technology, records management, administrative hearings, safety, and communication services.
  • The Oil and Gas Conservation Division (19.50 FTE) is responsible for programs operated for the prevention of resource waste through regulation of oil and gas exploration and production. This division supports the quasi-judicial Board of Oil and Gas that is charged with regulation of the industry.
  • The Conservation and Resources Development Division (30.17 FTE) provides administrative, legal, and technical assistance and financial grants to the conservation districts and manages natural resource conservation and development grant and loan programs for local governments, state agencies, and private individuals. The division also administers six attached councils and commissions and the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team.
  • The Water Resource Division (136.26 FTE) is responsible for the administration of all water use within the state, including: maintaining the database for all water rights, providing technical and legal support for implementation of approved water compacts for Indian tribes and federal agencies, managing state water projects, investigating water use act violations, ensuring dam safety compliance, and providing water adjudication support to the Water Court.
  • The Forestry Division (195.78 FTE) is responsible for planning and implementing forestry programs statewide. Division responsibilities include: protecting natural resources from wildfire, regulating forest practices, providing a variety of services to private forest landowners, implementing cross boundary projects to build resilient forests, sustainable economies and fire adapted communities, increasing forest restoration, management and health on federal lands and growing and selling seedlings for conservation and reforestation plantings on state and private lands in Montana.
  • The Trust Land Management Division (129.30 FTE) is responsible for the management of the state trust land resources to produce revenues for the trust beneficiaries while considering environmental factors and protecting the future income-generating capacity of the land. This work is done under the direction of the State Board of Land Commissioners (comprised of the Governor, State Auditor, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Secretary of State), who are constitutionally charged to oversee trust resources. The department director is the chief administrative officer of the board.

There are no current audit reports at this time.

decorative leaves element