Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

Museum and research center closed for renovations. For more info, call (406) 444-2694.

Community Preservation and Certified Local Government (CLG) Program

Montana's historic communities are as diverse as the Big Sky country. Most community histories intertwine Native American traditions, frontier adventure, resource development, railroad empire-building, and agricultural settlement to form a tapestry of local culture and heritage. These strands of history stretch from buffalo days to the present; the experiences of first peoples, missionaries, miners, traders, homesteaders, loggers, and ranchers are each a part of the experience that is Montana.

From these historical beginnings grew downtowns and neighborhoods that now form the core of our communities. At Montana State Historic Preservation Office, we help people from every corner of our state to build upon their roots, preserve their legacy, and keep their communities vibrant. Our Community Preservation program lends a hand to those working to maintain Montana's historic character in small-towns, urban centers, and residential neighborhoods, and rural landscapes.
Montana's Community Preservation program, also known as the Certified Local Government (CLG) program, is a time-tested means of preserving communities. The program is based upon an appreciation of the community's historic patterns, architectural styles, influential architects and builders, significant people and events, and historic and prehistoric archeology.

In partnership with the National Park Service under the National Historic Preservation Act, we certify local governments with historic preservation programs, provide technical preservation assistance, and annually dedicate 10% of our federal funding to cities, towns, and counties that commit themselves to preserving their heritage under the program. Each receives $1,000 to $5,000, depending on their level of activity and the federal allocation, to spend in ways that best assist their community's local preservation needs.

For more information about the Certified Local Government program or to pursue certification for your community, please visit the National Park Service CLG homepage.



Training presentations for historic preservation officers, local preservation commissioners, and interested public.

Contact information for CLG Communities

CLG Manual (PDF)

National Park Service CLG homepage

Contact Information for Montana CLG Communities (PDF)

Sixteen Montana CLG communities

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County

Billings-Yellowstone County


Butte-Silver Bow County

Carbon County

Columbus-Stillwater County

Deer Lodge

Great Falls-Cascade County

Hardin-Big Horn County

Havre-Hill County

Lewis & Clark County



Miles City


Virginia City

Historic walking tour brochures are available for download here, or by contacting our office. You can also visit Historic Montana or download the Historic Montana App from your favorite app store for additional tours.


Biking Bozeman's Boundaries


Carbon County Driving Tour


Great Falls Rivers Edge Tour

Great Falls Railroad District Tour



Havre Residential & Business District


Helena West Main Street

Helena's West Side

Helena's West Side Architectural Tour

Historical Walking Tour of Kalispell



Historic Walking Tour of Livingston

Miles City


Missoula Riverfront Trail

Nevada City

Red Lodge


**The (activity) which is the subject of this (type of publication) has been financed (in part/entirely) with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, and administered by the State Historic Preservation Office of Montana. The contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of the Interior or the Montana Historic Preservation Office, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior or Montana Historic Preservation Office.
This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or disability in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:
Office for Equal Opportunity
National Park Service
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240


Kate Hampton (khampton
Community Preservation Coordinator
(406) 444-7742