Governor Bullock Announces Outdoor Recreation Summit -

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Governor Bullock Announces Outdoor Recreation Summit

Governor’s Office and outdoor recreation partners to discuss future of Montana’s outdoor recreation economy

Friday, October 26, 2018/Categories: Former Governors/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock today announced the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation will host the Business of Outdoor Recreation Summit December 4th and 5th, 2018 in Whitefish. The Summit seeks to bring together leaders, community members, recreation and conservation groups from Montana and the Greater Crown of the Continent, including Alberta and British Columbia to provide a platform to discuss promoting and strengthening outdoor recreation and the economic activity it supports.

Outdoor recreation, especially on our public lands, is central to Montana’s economy and Montanans’ way of life,” said Governor Bullock. “We’ll be bringing folks together from all across the state to identify opportunities to further invest in our outdoors in order to keep our economy thriving and keep Montana the best place to live, work, play and raise a family.”

Governor Bullock created the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation to capitalize on and grow the outdoor recreation economy in Montana. Montana’s outdoor recreation economy generates over $7.1 billion in annual consumer spending and employs over 71,000 people each year. The Summit panels, workshops and keynotes will cover:

  • Turning community vision into community planning; Balancing infrastructure growth with sustainable long-term management and funding; Project planning across multiple landowners and land managers.
  • Communicating outdoor recreation and conservation needs to local, state and federal elected officials; Funding long-term operations and maintenance.
  • Understanding the economic value of open spaces and outdoor recreation; Helping communities in transition create a vision and action plan for sustainable expansion of their tourism economy; Integrating sustainable practices into business plans.

The Summit is made possible by our presenting sponsor REI Co-op and many other businesses and organizations who understand the importance and value of outdoor recreation in the region. Expect two days of engaging conversation, dynamic guest speakers, and effective work sessions.

The Summit will unite our collective vision for conservation and outdoor recreation in the region,” said Alan Myers-Davis, Director of Development, Whitefish Legacy Partners. “Sharing strategies to develop, fund, and maintain on-the-ground projects is invaluable to our quality of life and economic resilience. Help shape the future of our public lands and join the conversations December.”

"The impact of outdoor recreation on the economy and well-being of communities in Montana and the Greater Crown of the Continent, including British Columbia and Alberta, is undeniable. Not only is it consistently the top reason people choose to live and visit, but it has become a powerful tool in industry and employee recruitment and retention,” said Sheena Pate, Project Coordinator, Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council. “We're bringing together diverse stakeholders to ensure the value of one of our leading economic drivers is understood, supported and planned for. Not just for the industry's sake, but because we are all inherently tied to the health of the landscape.

The Business of Outdoor Recreation Summit is incorporating a competitive funding award program supporting Montana organizations with on-the-ground conservation and recreation projects. Six finalists will be selected and spotlighted at the Summit, where attendees will vote on two winning projects. Each winning organization will walk away with $5,000 to support their important work. Nominate a deserving organization.

How to apply:

  • Eligible non-profit organizations must submit a pdf formatted application (not to exceed 2 pages) to with MTOOR SUMMIT AWARD- Project Name in subject line by the deadline at 11:59 pm on November 8th, 2018.

Applications must include:

  • 1- page letter of interest including organization’s contact information, website, mission statement, and short description of on-the-ground conservation or recreation project.
  • Brief project budget narrative describing how the funds will be spent.
  • IF selected as a finalist, who from your organization can attend and present at the Business of Outdoor Recreation Summit on December 4 & 5, 2018.

The Summit will kick off celebrating 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and National Trails Systems and culminate with welcoming the public to Whitefish Performing Arts Center for a fireside chat, film festival and launch of National Parks Conservation Association’s Centennial. This portion will include Fireside chat with Patagonia’s Lisa Pike and a broad selection of films celebrating recreation, conservation and community. Public fireside chat and film festival tickets go on sale November 1, 2018.

Join us for the full Summit! Registration is open and the event is filling up quickly. For more information go to


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