MISSOULA – Montana State Parks is in the final stages of a new five-year outdoor recreation plan that outlines goals for outdoor recreation management and conservation in the state. Four University of Montana faculty members assisted with data collection and research to support the plan’s recommendations.
UM College of Forestry and Conservation Professors Norma Nickerson, Wayne Freimund, Elizabeth Metcalf and Alex Metcalf helped the planning team implement surveys and review data trends to make recommendations about activities and funding priorities.
Nickerson, Elizabeth and Alex were responsible for two studies. The first assessed resident and land managers on the use and perception of outdoor recreation facilities around the state. The second used secondary data on Montana resident travel for outdoor recreation and health benefits of outdoor recreation. Freimund was on the advisory board that reviewed reports to help guide the development of the final plan.
The state will accept public comment on the plan through Nov. 18 and expects Gov. Steve Bullock to sign it by the end of the year. The public can review the plan online and comment at http://stateparks.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/board/pn_0002.html.