The Montana Parks in Focus Commission will host a public meeting May 10-11 in Kalispell. The public meeting is the second of four held at state parks across Montana intended to gather public input and develop recommendations to sustain and strengthen Montana’s state park system.
The Flathead Valley is home to 10 parks in the Montana State Parks system. Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, has five parks dotting its shores, along with 2,000-acre Wild Horse Island. Kalispell is home to Lone Pine, and Whitefish has Les Mason and Whitefish Lake state parks. Lake Mary Ronan, near Dayton, has incredible fishing all year. These parks provide recreationists with critical access to world class opportunities.
“We are blessed in Montana to have access to incredible public lands, and the Flathead is a prime example of what this state has to offer,” said Stace Lindsay, Chair of the Parks in Focus Commission. “We chose Kalispell as the location of our second meeting because of the importance of state parks to the local economy, and the opportunities these parks provide for Montanans and visitors to have extraordinary outdoor experiences.”
The Parks in Focus Commission was created in January 2017 by Governor Steve Bullock to strengthen Montana’s state park system and to ensure the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks has the resources, capacity, and expertise to implement the Montana State Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan. The Commission consists of 12 volunteer professionals with backgrounds in business, local government, education, tourism, and healthcare.
The first of four Commission meetings was held in Three Forks in February. This second Commission meeting in Kalispell will focus on partnerships, exploring the potential for a range of partners to leverage scarce state resources and stronger ties between parks and local communities.
The Commission is tasked with providing recommendations to the Governor, state legislature, and Fish, Wildlife & Parks on three strategies that emerged from the state parks strategic planning effort: growing strategic partnerships, building an engaged constituency for state parks, and diversifying revenue. The Commission is expected to provide final recommendations to the Governor’s office by December of this year.
The Montana State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit partner to state parks, is hosting a get-together Thursday, May 10 at Lone Pine State Park from 5:30-8 pm. Food trucks, drinks and music will be on site, and the Foundation will showcase recently park improvement projects at Lone Pine State Park.
The agenda for Friday, May 11 includes morning tours of Wayfarers and West Shore State Parks followed by the afternoon Commission meeting from 12-4 pm at the Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional office in Kalispell. To view the full Parks in Focus Commission meeting agenda, visit: http://www.chartinganewtomorrow.com/parks-in-focus/
Commission meeting attendance is encouraged by all members of the public. Commission meetings are a unique opportunity to provide input on creating a robust and relevant state park system for Montana.
Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) to enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more. Discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.