Operators and promoters of outdoor recreation companies said at a U.S. Senate hearing that small tourist businesses like theirs are a critical part of the rural U.S. economy facing multiple challenges.
The effects of climate change are already affecting Montana’s outdoor recreation, but with predictions of even more heat and drought by 2050, the outdoor recreation industry stands to lose thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in earnings, according to a new report.
Calling it a legacy project that only comes along once in a generation, the Missoula City Council and Missoula County commissioners on Wednesday approved tapping into the Open Space Bond to purchase 480 acres on Marshall Mountain.
The act would add about 78,000 acres of wilderness to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Mission Mountains wilderness areas and create two recreation management areas for snowmobiling and mountain biking.
Citing everything from economic opportunity to childhood education, a number of people spoke in favor Wednesday of the proposed public acquisition of Marshall Mountain – a move that will require around $2 million in funding from the open space bond and an estimated $400,000 in annual maintenance costs.