Green Mountain
                 Conservation District

To Protect and Enhance the Natural Resources of the District and to Educate the Public about Natural Resource Concerns
"The Land bears an honest record of what men write on it."


2952 HWY 200

P.O. BOX 1329


PHONE: (406) 827-4833

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This document is transcribed from the Montana DNRC website at:

(For 310 Permit Application)

Text Box: Revised 6/5/15





Please read carefully.




1.       Review “A Guide to Stream Permitting in Montana” to determine which permits are applicable to your project.  This guide is available from all participating agencies and on line at  Please note:  permits may be required from other agencies than those listed on this form.  You must apply to those agencies on separate forms if the law applies.

2.   Attach a plan or drawing to the application.  Some agencies require that this be provided by a professional engineer or other expert.

3.  Keep in mind that you will be required to design your project in a manner that minimizes impacts, including sedimentation and erosion during and after project construction.  Your project must be designed to preserve and protect the river or stream keeping it in as natural condition as possible.  Contact agencies to find out if specific criteria apply to your project. 

4.    It is recommended that you do not purchase materials for project construction until all permits are issued.  The size and type of materials may be modified during the permitting process.

5.   You will need a project site legal description and a site map.  You may obtain land descriptions by contacting the county assessor or clerk and recorder office.  Aerial photographs sometimes may be obtained by contacting your local conservation district, or if you have the internet, you may obtain photos of the project site through the state’s natural resource inventory system (, or through a mapping website such as map quest or google earth.

6.   Know that vegetation is important to the stability and health of the stream.  Vegetation removal must be kept to a minimum and bare ground must be replanted.  Weeds must be controlled in the area until vegetation is established.

7.   To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, use clean equipment. Make sure your equipment is free of weeds, weed seeds, and excess grease before using it in a waterway.  Clean mud and aquatic plants from heavy machinery or other equipment before moving between waters and work sites. Drain water from machinery let dry before moving to another location. The following website shows waterbodies that are known to be infested with invasive species:

8.    For a reference guide, most participating agencies have copies of a notebook entitled “Montana Stream

      Permitting: A Guide for Conservation District Supervisors and Others,” that contains information about stream

      dynamics and describes various options for projects.  The book is also available on DNRC’s website:





The joint application form can be used to obtain permits from the local, state, and federal agencies listed in the box below.  The box below describes the joint application participants and the permits covered; contact information; application procedures; time frames; and fees.    


After completing this form, send the required number of copies, with original signatures, to each applicable agency.  Each agency issues separate permits.  You must obtain individual authorizations or permits from each agency to which you apply before conducting your work. 


Fees listed are for information only.   Contact the responsible agency for information about fees.





agency contacts / addresses and additional information





310 Permit

Private citizens and companies working in or near perennial streams.

Local Conservation District

Submit three copies of application, maps, and plans to conservation district.  To locate local office, call MT Assoc. of Conservation Districts (406) 443-5711 or Conservation Districts Bureau, DNRC (406) 444-6667; or visit

30 – 60 days

No fee


SPA 124 Permit Governmental entities working in any stream.

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (DFWP)

Submit a set of preliminary plans or sketches with application. To locate appropriate office, call DFWP in Helena (406) 444-2449.  For projects sponsored by DOT, send two sets of plans to Helena DFWP, Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-2701.

30 days

No fee


Floodplain Permit

Applicants proposing new construction within designated floodplains.

City or County Floodplain Administrator

All required local, state, and federal permits must be issued before a floodplain permit can be issued.  An applicant may be required to hire a professional engineer.  Prior to submitting this application form, contact the local floodplain administrator at the city or county office.  To locate the appropriate office, contact DNRC Water Resources Division (406) 444-0860 or visit:

60 days

Varies city or county. Inquire locally.  ($25 - $500+)


Section 404 Permit

Applicants working in any stream and in wetlands.

Section 10 Permit

Applicants working on Yellowstone, Missouri, or Kootenai Rivers or their reservoirs.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE)

Submit one copy of application plus a set of construction plans or sketches of the proposed project, if available.  See special signature requirements following “Information for Applicant”. US Army Corps of Engineers, 10 West 15th Street Suite 2200, Helena MT 59626; (406) 441-1375.

30 - 120 days

Varies ($0 - $100)

You will be contacted if fee applies.


318 Authorization

Activities that cause temporary turbidity in any state water.  Applies only for work carried out in water.




401 Certification

Activities that may adversely affect state water quality standards.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)






Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Do not send this form directly to DEQ if applying for a 310 or 124 permit.  You will be notified if you must apply directly to DEQ during the 310 or 124 permit review.  If you are not applying for a 310 or 124 permit, apply directly to DEQ with $250 fee enclosed. Dept. of Environmental Quality, Permitting and Compliance Division, Water Protection Bureau, Box 200901, Helena MT 59620-0901; (406) 444-3080.


Depending on the type of 404 permit you may have obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a 401 Water Quality Certification of that 404 permit by DEQ might be necessary. To determine if a 401 Certification is necessary, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (406) 441-1375 or DEQ (406) 444-3080.

30 days after application and fee are received.

$250 ( 318)









$400 - $20,000 (401)


Navigable Rivers Land Use License/Lease/

Easement -- Projects in, on, under, or over navigable waters. 

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC)

Additional fees, a land survey, and other information will be required.  Contact the local DNRC land office for information about whether a waterway is navigable. To locate appropriate Land Office, call (406) 444-2074.

License – up to 60 days. Lease or Easements – up to 90 days.

$50, plus additional fee




The sections indicated below correspond with sections on the application form.  Sections A, B, and C must be completed for all applications.  Section D is to be completed only if you are applying for a Floodplain Permit, Section 404 Permit, or Section 10 permit.


A.  APPLICANT INFORMATION.   The applicant must possess the authority to undertake the work described in the application or to act as the duly authorized agent of the landowner.  The applicant is the responsible party for the project and the main point of contact for permitting questions, scheduling inspections, and other project details.  The landowner’s name and address is required if different from the applicant.  If a contractor will be used to do the work, provide the contractor’s name and contact information.  Be aware that the issuance of any permit does not give permission to carry out a project on land that is not owned by the applicant.  The applicant has the duty to secure necessary landowner authorization.


B.  PROJECT SITE INFORMATION.  This information is required to locate the site and the water body where the work will be completed.  If it is not clear how to get to the site, be sure to include written directions. Attach an additional sheet or site map that clearly shows the project location and any identifying landmarks.  Geocodes help locate the property where the project will be constructed and are available online at: Leave the Geocode line blank if you don’t have access to the internet.


Contact DNRC at 406-444-2074 to determine if your project will be conducted on a state navigable waterway.  If so, a copy of this application must be mailed to DNRC’s Trust Land Management office along with the non-refundable $50 application fee. You can call any local Land Office or the number listed above.


C.  PROJECT INFORMATION.   This section provides space for you to describe your project and the steps you will take to minimize impacts.  Projects must be constructed in a way that minimizes impacts to the water body and that keeps rivers and streams in as natural state as possible.  Some agencies and conservation districts may require you to follow specific standards for project design, materials used, or re-vegetation.


1.  Type of Project.  Check all boxes that apply to the proposed work.  If your project type is not listed, check “Other” and describe what type of project you are proposing.


2.  Be sure to attach a plan or drawing that includes the information requested.  Your application will be rejected if project plan or drawing is not provided.


3.  Annual Maintenance.  Conservation districts may authorize minor maintenance activities for up to ten years.  If the proposed work will be conducted each year, check this box and attach an annual plan of operation.  An annual plan of operation must include the nature and extent of work to be conducted each year.  It should also include, at minimum, a detailed description of the work to be done, the timing of the work proposed, and the amount of streambed materials to be removed or disturbed, as well as other information required by the district.  If the conservation district authorizes an annual maintenance permit, you still may be required to seek approval from other agencies each year prior to doing work.


4.  Proposed Construction Date.  The timing of construction is an important factor in determining impacts to water quality, fish, and aquatic life.  Authorizations/permits may contain timing restrictions on construction activities.  Note when you plan to start work and how long it will take to complete. Keep in mind it can take 30-120 days or more after an application is complete to receive permits needed to begin your project.  Plan ahead.


5.  Purpose.  Describe the need and purpose of the proposed work.  What will it be used for and why?


6.  Brief Description.  Describe briefly what you propose to do and how you plan to construct it.  Other places in the application will allow for more detailed information.


7.  Current Condition.  Describe the current condition of the site.  Include the bank condition, slope, and height of bank.  Note structures such as riprap, dikes, bridges, irrigation facilities, road crossings, or homes that are near the site.  Also include a description of any nearby wetlands that may be disturbed as a result of the proposed project.  You may provide photos in addition to the description.


8.  Project Dimensions.  Generally describe the impact area of your project and provide dimensions of your project, including linear feet, distance the work will encroach into the water body, as well as extend away from the water body. Use the high water mark as a point of measure.  If you are unsure of the high water mark or it isn’t applicable to the project, specify another point of measure.


9.  Vegetation.  Vegetation is important for bank stability and maintaining water quality.  Agencies require that only the vegetation necessary to conduct the work be removed.  Describe the vegetation at the site (woody trees and shrubs, grasses, weeds, etc.) and how much will be disturbed or covered with fill material during project installation.  Reseeding and replanting all disturbed areas of the project site is usually required.  Describe, in detail, your plan to re-vegetate the area.  


10.  Materials.  What materials are going to be used for your project?  Where were they obtained?  How much are you planning to use?  All materials used must be of adequate size and dimension for the project and be free of pollutants.  If streambed or other materials are removed from the bed of a stream, they must be removed from the area so they don’t reenter the stream.  When possible, choose materials that are natural to the area to construct your project.  It is recommended that you do not purchase materials until all permits are issued because the size and type may be modified during the permitting process.


11.  Equipment.  List all equipment that will be used for construction of the project.  How will the equipment be used on the bank and/or in the water body?  Make sure your equipment is clean and free of weeds, weed seeds, and excess grease before using it in the waterway.  To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, to the extent practical, remove mud and aquatic plants from heavy machinery and other equipment before moving between waters and work sites, especially in waters known to be infested with aquatic invasive species.  Drain water from machinery and let machinery dry before moving to another location.


12.  Describe planned efforts to minimize project impacts.  Consider the impacts of the proposed project, even if they are temporary.  All projects create impacts.  Projects must be designed and constructed in a manner that minimizes impacts and keeps natural rivers and streams in as natural a state as possible.  Use the space provided to describe what you plan to do to minimize the impact of the proposed project during and after construction.  Examples would include using sediment fences along the bank or below the proposed work, installing coffer dams to direct flow away from the project area, constructing fish friendly diversions or stream crossings, protecting existing vegetation or re-vegetating disturbed areas, timing of the project, designing projects that fit into the natural area, minimizing disturbance to the area, or selecting carefully the sites and methods used to construct the project, including practices that avoid spreading of aquatic invasive species.


13.  Project Benefits.  Describe anticipated natural resource benefits that will occur as a result of your project, such as improved water quality, improved riparian vegetation, improved fish habitat, etc. 


14.  Alternatives.  List other projects you considered before selecting the project for which you are applying.  Describe the reason why you chose the project you selected. 


For 310 applicants only:  The criteria listed below will be used by an inspection team and the conservation district in reviewing your application.  In addition to filling out this question, during the review process, you may be requested to provide more specific information about the alternatives you considered. The kind of information that may be requested from you may include, but is not limited to:


a.  Other reasonable alternatives that may have been considered prior to selecting the project described in the application.

b.  Costs of the alternatives.

c.  Impacts of the alternatives, including:

      1.  Sedimentation and/or erosion.

      2.  Stream channel alterations.

      3.  Disturbance to vegetation.

      4.  Water quality changes (during and after construction).

      5.  Stream flow changes.

      6.  Fish and aquatic habitat.

      7.  Changes to the natural condition of the area.



Information in Section D is specific to Section 404, Section 10, and Floodplain permits.   Answer Questions 1-3 if you are applying for a Section 404 or Section 10 permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Answer Questions 3-6 if you are applying for a Floodplain Permit from the local floodplain administrator.  (Question 3 is required for both.) 


1.  See definitions listed below for aquatic areas, wetlands, fill material, ordinary high water mark, waters of the US, and for information on how to calculate materials and impacted areas.


2.  Provide a brief explanation of avoidance, minimization, and compensation describing how impacts to waters of the United States are being avoided and minimized on the project site.  Also provide a brief description of how impacts to waters of the United States will be compensated for, or a brief statement explaining why compensatory mitigation should not be required for those impacts.  See definition of compensatory mitigation below.


3.  Attach a list of adjacent property owners and their mailing addresses.  This includes properties adjacent to and across from the project site.  Be advised that many communities require a certified adjoining property owner list.  (You can get this information from the community’s planning/zoning/GIS office or through a title company).  At its discretion, the permitting agency may contact these landowners.


4.  For floodplain permits, all local, state, and federal permits must be in place before a floodplain permit can be issued.  Provide copies of each issued, waived, denied, or pending permits.


5.  If your project site is in a designated floodplain, the waterway should have a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and/or floodplain map number (FHBM, FIRM, DFIRM).  Contact the local floodplain administrator to obtain this information.


6.  Check with the local government to see if special planning or zoning regulations apply.






·         Aquatic areas include (but are not limited to) rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, wet meadows, oxbows, and sloughs.  Named and unnamed drainages that flow intermittently, as well as streams with perennial flow, are aquatic areas (waters of the United States).

·         Dredged material means material that is excavated or dredged from waters of the United States, including material removed or excavated from wetlands, lakes, ponds, streams, and other waters.

·         Fill material refers to rock, sand, soil, or any material that replaces an aquatic area with dry land, or changes the bottom elevation of a water body.  Prohibited fill material includes junk metal, car bodies, construction debris, trash, etc.

·         Mitigation means avoiding and/or minimizing impacts to aquatic areas, and compensating for unavoidable impacts.  Compensatory mitigation refers to replacing aquatic resources that have been lost, with similar aquatic resources.  Compensatory mitigation may include creating new, restoring degraded, or enhancing existing aquatic areas.

·         Waters of the United States includes the area below the ordinary high water mark of stream channels and lakes or ponds connected to the tributary system, and wetlands adjacent to these waters.  Isolated waters and wetlands, as well as man-made channels, may be waters of the United States in certain circumstances, which must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

·         Wetlands include areas that are inundated or saturated with water long enough to support vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated conditions.  Wetlands are generally determined on a site-by-site basis.  If you are not sure whether a wetland will be impacted by your proposed project, contact the Corps of Engineers.

·         To calculate impacted area, measure the length and width that the fill material will occupy.  Length x width = area, usually expressed in square feet, square yards or acres.  If your project involves a stream, measure the length of bank that will be affected on both sides of the stream.

·         To calculate the volume of material, measure the length, width, and depth of the fill material.  Length x width x depth = volume, usually stated in cubic feet or cubic yards.




Provide the following on separate sheets and attach to the floodplain permit application copy of the joint application.


1.       A detailed site plan of the proposed project, drawn to scale, showing the following: 

a.       Property boundary lines of the subject property and those in the immediate vicinity of the proposed project;

b.       Approximate location of all floodplain boundaries in the vicinity of the proposed project as depicted on the floodplain maps mentioned above;

c.       Location of the existing improvements in the vicinity of the proposed project, including driveways, roads, culverts, bridges, buildings, wells, septic systems, other improvements;

d.       Location of all existing physical features in the vicinity of the proposed project, including ponds, swales, streams, and irrigation ditches;

e.       Location and dimensions of all proposed improvements, including driveways, roads, culverts, bridges, ponds, buildings, wells, and other structures;

f.        Location for all fill proposed to be placed into the floodplain.

2.       A statement specifying the type of material and total amount of the fill proposed to be placed within the floodplain along with supporting calculations.

3.       Certain projects may require an licensed Montana engineer to design to the following criteria:    

a.       The project can withstand a 100-year flood event;

b.       The project will not adversely affect surrounding landowners upstream, downstream, across stream, or adjacent to the proposed project area;

c.       The effect of the proposed project on the 100-year base flood elevation.




*If you are a landowner submitting this application and proposing to undertake a project on your own behalf on your own property, please sign and date both the “Signature of Applicant” and “Signature of Landowner” lines. 


*If you are an applicant, other than the owner of the site, submitting this application and proposing to undertake a project, sign and date the “Signature of Applicant” only.


*If you are a contractor/agent acting as an agent on behalf of a landowner, or applicant, please sign and date only the line designated “Signature of Agent” and indicate your title.  The applicant/landowner must sign and date the “Signature of Applicant” and “Signature of Landowner” lines to indicate authorization for you to act on his/her behalf.


*If a utility company submits this application, a representative of the company should sign and date the “Signature of Applicant” line.  Landowner signatures are not required.


*It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain landowner permission to do work on land not owned by the applicant.




For 310 permit applicants only:  If you disagree with the conservation district’s decision to approve, modify, or deny your permit, you may request arbitration to settle the dispute, or you may seek judicial review in district court. The conservation district will provide you with more information with their permit decision.


If you disagree with the conservation district jurisdictional issues, and wish a formal decision from the conservation district, you should petition the conservation district for a declaratory ruling (see 75-7-125, MCA, for more information).  If this petition is submitted while you have a pending application before the conservation district, you should ask for an extension of time while the conservation district is processing the declaratory ruling petition.