Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has selected Beth R. Shumate as the new state parks administrator.
Shumate has served as manager of Hell Creek State Park and most recently as FWP’s state trails program manager. She lives near Clancy.
“Beth has a forward-looking vision for Montana State Parks and the demonstrated ability to coalesce interests and build partnerships,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “Beth is passionate about trails and public land access for all.”
Shumate grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. She has a bachelor’s degree in health management from Luther College in Iowa and a master’s degree in recreation management from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse. She first fell in love with the West as a wildland fire fighter. She’s lived in Montana for 15 years.
“During the past 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of living, working and becoming keenly aware of the vital role that our parks and trail systems play in our well-being, our economy and our communities,” Shumate said. “I’m extremely honored and humbled to accept this opportunity because I strongly desire to continue my commitment to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montanans and our tourists by improving the parks’ programs through positive momentum and innovative strategies.”
The hiring of an administrator for the FWP’s parks division is important now as the state looks toward the future of the parks and recreation program.
“This is obviously a key leadership role for state parks and recreation. The administrator position is critical for moving forward with the Governor’s Parks In Focus Initiative and implementing our strategic plan. We look forward to the energy Beth will bring in addressing those critical areas, as well as managing overall operations.” said Angie Grove, chair of the state’s Parks and Recreation Board. “The board is looking forward to working with Beth on those two key pieces of direction for the state.”
Through the 55 state parks, and five outdoor recreation programs FWP has the opportunity to help build a healthier and more prosperous Montana. Shumate sees connecting Montana residents and visitors with experiences outdoors as a vital role for the division to play.
“With our state parks and trails systems, FWP provides meaningful and satisfying outdoor experiences for all users, regardless of their age or ability,” Shumate said. “These experiences reaffirm a sense of connection with the natural environment and provide opportunities for an appreciation of Montana’s natural and cultural heritage.”
Shumate was selected from a talented pool of candidates and will begin work Dec. 4.
“We’re pleased to have Beth’s leadership ability in place now with our parks division,” Williams said. “Montana has a truly remarkable state parks system and Beth’s commitment to engaging the public in the wonderful outdoor opportunities our parks have to offer is the direction we need now.”
For more information, please contact Shumate at 444-4585 or FWP spokesman Greg Lemon at 370-0077.