Montana has 55 state parks across a spectacular landscape that provide extraordinary outdoor experiences. Our state parks are in dire need of funding and maintenance. Over the past few years, the incredible demand for outdoor recreation opportunities on our trails and in our state parks has intensified the need to address the backlog of maintenance ($22 million and growing).
Fortunately, thanks to recommendations of the Montana Parks in Focus Commission and leadership of Sen. Terry Gauthier, Helena, with backing of a bipartisan group of state senators, including Jen Gross, of Billings, the Legislature has an opportunity to address the impacts of pressure on these parks by providing much needed funding. Organizations as diverse as Montana Association of Realtors, skiers, bikers, motorized trail riders and trail hikers, and League of Cities and Towns support this bill. Montana state parks are underfunded and underperforming. By continuing to prevent state parks from addressing the strains of demand with necessary funding, the parks are being punished and are doomed to be unable to meet the increasing challenges on this resource.
Encourage the House to support and pass Senate Bill 24 to fund fishing access sites, trails and recreational facilities in our state parks.