Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit Returns in 2023 to Explore Conservation, Economics, and Inclusion in Outdoor Recreation
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: July 12, 2023

Butte, MT – July 11, 2023 – The Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit is back in 2023! Co-hosted by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR), W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, and Montana Access Project, this event aims to explore the conservation, economic, and social aspects of outdoor recreation.

The Summit will be held from October 11 – 13, 2023 at the Copper King and surrounding areas in Butte. Butte, situated on the traditional homelands of the Shoshone-Bannock and Séliš & Ktunaxa (Salish & Kootenai) people, boasts a rich heritage and offers unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation. It serves as the perfect backdrop for this gathering of outdoor enthusiasts, public and private land managers, industry leaders, and experts.

Access to the outdoors enhances quality of life, health, and wellness for 1 million residents and 12.5 million visitors, underlies Montana’s 60-billion-dollar economy, and is a competitive advantage for business recruitment and retention. Yet, Montana’s communities from large to small struggle with “how” to provide quality frontcountry recreation access close to home and connectivity to broader public land recreation opportunities sustainably. “We aim to fill that gap by bring together a diverse range of voices to cover over the critical themes that outdoor recreation champions care about: Conservation of Outdoor Resources; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Outdoor Spaces; and the Economic Impacts of Outdoor Recreation” said Diane Conradi, Founder of Montana Access Project.

“The impact of outdoor recreation on the economy and well-being of communities in Montana is indisputable. Not only is it consistently the top reason people choose to live and visit, but it has become a powerful tool in industry and employee recruitment and retention. ITRR is excited to co-host the Outdoor Recreation Summit and provide an opportunity to connect with people, practitioners, and communities to forge lasting partnerships and ignite collaborations that will shape the future of outdoor recreation in Montana,” explained Melissa Weddell, Director of University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.

That impact extends to residents and visitors alike. According to Lisa Nichols, onX’s Access Advocacy Manager, “onX was founded in Montana–in the state’s forests, on its prairies, and mountain peaks. These landscapes help inspire our company and fuel our employees’ and customers’ way of life. In turn, we aim to help preserve these places, improve access to recreational opportunities and steward them for generations to come. We’re excited to join others in this effort at the Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit, and work to address challenges and find solutions to enhance Big Sky Country’s recreational opportunities.”

This Summit promises to be the go-to event of the year for those who are committed to the outdoors—packed with field tours, intriguing conversation, and other very unique yet-to-be-unveiled opportunities.

Registration for the 2023 Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit is now open, and prospective attendees are encouraged to take advantage of a limited number of early-bird tickets! 

For more information and to register, please visit the event website at

If you are interested in sponsoring this event or exhibitor space, please reach out to Rachel at

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