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Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks seeks public input to shape the future of outdoor recreation

Billings, Montana – Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) department is spearheading an initiative to refresh its approach to outdoor recreation by seeking the public’s input on the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). This effort underscores the state’s commitment to maintaining its status as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, whether they are hikers, hunters, or adventurers.

Engaging the Community in Outdoor Planning

Chrissy Webb from Montana FWP emphasized the critical role outdoor recreation plays in the lives of Montana’s residents, stating, “Outdoor recreation is important to us in the state of Montana. I think that’s a big reason why a lot of us live here.” To ensure that the state continues to meet the recreational needs and preferences of its community, FWP has organized nine workshops across Montana. These workshops are part of the process to update SCORP, a crucial document that guides local, state, and federal agencies in developing future outdoor recreation opportunities.

The necessity of updating SCORP every five years is driven by the requirement to secure federal funding from the land and water conservation fund, which is pivotal in investing in the state’s outdoor recreation infrastructure. “The SCORP needs to be updated in Montana every five years, and we’re currently in the process of rewriting that outdoor recreation plan. That’s where these workshops come in. We are hoping that the public can be as involved as possible. We want to hear their input on what they would like to see in outdoor recreation opportunities in the state of Montana,” Webb explained.

One of the highlighted workshops is scheduled to take place in Billings on Tuesday, March 5, from 6–8 p.m. at the FWP office located at 2300 Lake Elmo Dr. For those unable to attend in person, a virtual workshop is also available on March 12th at 6 p.m., ensuring wider participation. Additionally, FWP has launched an online survey, open until mid-March, inviting residents to share their visions and preferences for enhancing Montana’s outdoor recreation landscape.

Ryan Mitchell

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