Montana Public Radio

Montana State Parks

Fly fisherman stock photo.
iStock

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Tuesday released a new five-year plan to guide state outdoor recreation policy. The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan outlines Montana’s goals to promote the recreation industry and the jobs that support it, and to support "outdoor recreation participation for undeserved, disadvantaged and persons with disabilities."

A bird's eye view of the southern reaches of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio


A coalition of wildlife, conservation and outdoor recreation business groups has launched an effort to find ways to fund conservation and maintenance projects on public lands.

Eric Melson says the Montana Outdoor Heritage Project is trying to hear from 10,000 Montanans on what they value about the state’s public lands and outdoor recreation, and how those values should be funded.

A fisherman in the Bitterroot River near Painted Rocks State Park.
Josh Burnham

An optional fee increase on vehicle registrations that would help reduce a multi-million dollar maintenance backlog at state parks passed an initial vote in the Montana Senate today.

The fees Montanans pay when registering vehicles would increase from $6 to $9 under Senate Bill 24, although people could decline to pay the fee.

First People's Buffalo Jump State Park.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

Montana has more state parks than any other state in the Rocky Mountain region. Friday, the governor's Parks In Focus Commission released its recommendations for addressing the funding and maintenance challenges the state parks face.

Graphs showing the percent of survey respondents who visited state parks in past 12 months, and the number of different State Parks visited by respondents in past 12 months.
Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research Publications

Montanans are fond of their 55 state parks. A survey released Wednesday finds residents who visit state parks visited almost three different parks on average in the past year.

Edward O’Brien reports on what they’re looking for.

Nicky Ouellet

This weekend, Montana State Parks kicked off a summer long initiative to draw more people to Montana’s 55 state parks.

But a springtime audit showed the parks have a $22 million maintenance backlog.

stateparks.mt.gov

Leaders of the Montana State Parks system need to earn back public trust following an audit that revealed financial problems and disorganization. That’s what a state Parks and Recreation Board member told lawmakers Tuesday.

The April audit found that the parks division had an extra $11 million in its accounts at the same time as parks around the state were facing a $22 million backlog in maintenance needs.

State lawmakers in the Environmental Quality Council reviewed that audit Tuesday, of the agency that oversees Montana’s 55 state parks.

Grants Make Montana Playgrounds More Accessible
(PD)

Montana State Parks has a new program to make playgrounds more accessible to children with disabilities.

The agency started taking applications Tuesday for grants that will help provide funding for communities to renovate and improve playgrounds, making them safer and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bikes and a tent at a campground.
Flickr User Lily Monster (CC-BY-NC-2)

Today Montana State Parks announced plans to construct group bicycle campsites at four state parks in western Montana.

Funding For Montana LWCF Projects Doubles In 2016
Bob Wick (CC-BY-2)

Funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund projects in Montana has more than doubled since it was last offered in 2014.

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