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."
The plan also directs Montana’s side of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant system, which totalled roughly $1.5 million dollars this year.
Beth Shumate is the Montana State Parks Administrator. She says the latest five-year plan tries to give advice so everyone can get on the same page as Montana's outdoor recreation industry grows.
"We wanted to develop some recommendations so government agencies, non profit groups, and all of those different partners can best address the increased pressures and impact that we’re seeing on the ground and waters."
Today’s release from the Governor's Office highlights findings from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that show Montana is second only to Hawaii in the size of the role outdoor recreation plays in the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
According to that federal analysis of 2017 data, just over 5 percent of Montana’s GDP comes from the outdoor recreation economy.
The plan released today is an update to a previous five year recreation plan, which ran from 2014-2018.
Update 4:45 p.m., 12/17/19: This story was updated with a quote from the Montana State Parks administrator.