When our children were younger, access to public fishing sites, campgrounds and trails was an important and affordable family activity. These outdoor opportunities are foundational to our identify as Montana citizens and help us become better stewards of the lands we share.
As an agricultural state we have a long legacy of land preservation and we need to apply this commitment to our public access opportunities of trails, parks, etc. This commitment requires financial strategic investment and funding that allows for continuous and predictable maintenance in infrastructure, amenities and human resources. Compared to our western neighboring states, Montana is way behind in providing dollars to protect these pivotal resources. If the outdoor recreation economy is to grow, we must find solutions to provide sustainable and ongoing funding sources for state parks and public outdoor spaces.
It’s time to have a conversation. We need to invest in our public lands because it is the legacy we leave for the next generation.