MTPR

outdoor recreation

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.

Montana's outdoor recreation activities.
Outdoor Recreation And Montana's Economy report, Headwaters Economics.

A growing set of business owners, non-profits and agencies in Montana are trying to expand what we think of when we talk about the economic value of the outdoors here.

Marne Hayes is the executive director for Business for Montana’s Outdoors, a group that advocates for preserving Montana’s outdoor heritage. She says Montana itself — its rivers, forests and wide open spaces — offers a competitive advantage for attracting new businesses and a talented workforce to Montana.

The Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest released its new draft forest plan last week. It's a significant milestone. Montanans can now weigh-in on the master plan that will guide the forest's land use decisions for the next 15 years.

The Helena - Lewis and Clark is currently governed by a pair of 32-year-old forest plans.

U.S. Senate Committee On Energy and Natural Resources

A bill that would protect 79,000 acres of wilderness in the Blackfoot and Clearwater watersheds has been scheduled for a Senate committee hearing in two weeks.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
Bureau of Land Management

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will decide whether to shrink or eliminate 22 national monuments later this month. As Yellowstone Public Radio’s Brie Ripley reports, these monuments are significant money-makers for business owners across the West, who met in Helena and Great Falls Wednesday to discuss their concerns.

In Montana outdoor recreation generates nearly $6 billion in consumer spending annually, and supports over 60,000 jobs.

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