The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) was established July 1, 1995, as the result of legislative reorganization of Montana's natural resource and environmental agencies.
DNRC is responsible for sustaining and improving the benefits derived from our water, soil, and rangeland; managing the State of Montana's trust land resources to produce revenues for the trust beneficiaries; protecting Montana's natural resources from wildland fires through regulation and partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies; promoting conservation of oil and gas and preventing their waste through regulation of exploration and production; and managing and assisting in the management of several grant and loan programs, including the renewable resource, reclamation and development, treasure state endowment, and wastewater revolving fund programs. The department is also responsible for promoting the stewardship of Montana's water, soil, forest, and rangeland resources and for regulating forest practices.
DNRC has nearly 500 employees organized into seven divisions: Centralized Services, Conservation and Resource Development, Forestry, Oil and Gas Conservation, Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, Trust Land Management, and Water Resources. Two of the divisions, the Oil and Gas Conservation Division and the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, are attached to the department only for administrative purposes.
DNRC has 40 field offices spanning the state. Eight boards and commissions are attached to DNRC some make decisions, some only give advice. The State Board of Land Commissioners, Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, and Board of Water Well Contractors have decision-making authority. The Resource Conservation Advisory Council, Rangeland Resources Committee, Montana Grass Conservation Commission, and Drought Advisory Committee act in an advisory capacity only.