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.

Boat inspections are mandatory at City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park this season
Nicky Ouellet

As the state ramps up its efforts this year to screen boats for invasive species, some local groups have taken inspections into their own hands.

The City of Whitefish and the Whitefish Lake Institute, for example, have been running two city-funded mandatory check stations since Memorial Day at the only public boat launches on Whitefish Lake. The Whitefish Lake Institute, a local nonprofit that monitors water quality on the lake, also runs a decontamination station.

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

At a ranch near Seeley Lake Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he is introducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. The bill would protect nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness and develop a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with access to the Lolo National Forest. This would include opening some areas to snowmobiling and protecting access for mountain biking.

Public Hearings Slated For 'Quiet Waters' Initiative
(PD)

An initiative to put new restrictions on motorized watercraft on some river segments in Montana gets public hearings across the state this week.

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers submitted the so-called "Quiet Waters Initiative" petition to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks last March.

DREAM Back Country Powder Camp Group Shot 2016
KAMERON BARGE

For more than three decades, DREAM Adaptive Recreation has been working to get people with physical and cognitive disabilities outside to recreate in the Flathead Valley. Participants and volunteers call it life-changing. And now, the non-profit is expanding to work with veterans.

Governor Bullock told a crowd at the Center Natural History Museum in Missoula July 11, that he is he is committed to strengthening Montana’s outdoor recreation and tourism industries.
Edward O'Brien

Governor Steve Bullock was in Missoula today on state business, and to campaign. Bullock started the day with an event as governor to, "introduce his public lands and access agenda for Montana to Missoula."