(1) Grant applications must address how projects would restore, rehabilitate, improve, or manage land as wildlife habitat through noxious weed management, and must contain the following criteria:
(a) the name, address, and telephone number of the project sponsor, project manager, and liaison (if different than manager);
(b) the title or name of the proposed project;
(c) the total grant amount requested;
(d) the location and size (area) of the proposed project and maps depicting the specific location of the project area, ownership of participating lands, and treatment areas;
(e) a description of public hunting accessibility of participating lands within the project area;
(f) a brief description of the history and background of the project;
(g) a description of priority wildlife species and habitat(s) involved and how the targeted noxious weeds are specifically impacting wildlife habitat functions;
(h) a description of the need and urgency of the proposed project, including details of how the project would restore, rehabilitate, improve, or manage land as wildlife habitat through noxious weed management;
(i) a description of the measurable objectives of the project, including acres of priority habitat to benefit from the proposed project;
(j) a treatment plan as described in (2);
(k) a funding plan as described in (3);
(l) a statement that the project sponsor, if the grant receives approval, is willing to enter into a contract with the department for utilization of grant funds and required documentation, reporting, and monitoring; and
(m) a layout of a monitoring plan as described in (4). The monitoring plan allows the department to analyze how noxious weed management is restoring, rehabilitating, improving, or managing land as wildlife habitat. Monitoring shall provide actual results of the proposed measurable objectives.
(2) The treatment plan must include the following:
(a) an inventory of the current weed infestation in the project area and surrounding vicinity;
(b) a description of native plant life and occurrence in association with weed infestations;
(c) a description of causative factors for the weed infestation and how those may be addressed;
(d) a description of proposed treatment methods including a schedule of major project phases; a list of herbicides, biological control agents, and cultural methods; acreage estimate of treatments; proportion of infestation to be treated; anticipated follow-up treatment(s);
(e) measures to minimize impacts to non-target plant species; and
(f) post treatment management to reduce susceptibility to weed invasion.
(3) The funding plan must include the following:
(a) a list of partners and their respective non-federal cash commitments sufficient to meet grant matching requirements;
(b) leveraged funds and in-kind contributions that are in addition to the minimum non-federal match requirements; and
(c) signed letters of commitment from funding partners that identify the partner role, the source and amount of funds committed, and other contributions toward the proposed project.
(4) The layout of the monitoring plan must include the following:
(a) documentation of pre- and post-treatment conditions using repeatable quantitative and photographic methods:
(i) for herbicide and cultural treatments, measurements of targeted noxious weeds and all accompanying plant life, to be annually conducted at representative treatment locations during the treatment year and three consecutive years post-treatment; and
(ii) for biocontrol methods, three years of post-release sampling to determine occurrence of biocontrol agent. Measurements of targeted noxious weeds and native plant life at representative release locations, during the treatment year and years three and five post-treatment.
(5) This rule expires June 30, 2023, pursuant to 87-5-808, MCA.