Gov. Bullock moves forward with ‘Parks in Focus’ Commission to strengthen park system

 Gov. Steve Bullock today announced next steps to strengthen Montana’s state park system with the Montana Parks in Focus Commission 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.
 “Montana’s state parks are among our state’s greatest assets, offering not just windows into our past, but unparalleled opportunities to support community-based outdoor recreation, destination tourism, and vibrant main street economies across our state,” Governor Steve Bullock said. “Parks in Focus will bring the talent, the research and the energy needed to confront the challenges facing our state parks and ensure their cultural and natural heritage remains an asset for all current and future Montanans.”
 Governor Bullock signed an Executive Order chartering the Montana Parks in Focus Commission as a public-private collaboration. The purpose of the Parks in Focus Commission is to provide expert, independent recommendations for the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks on effective ways to implement the Montana State Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan. The principle focus will be on implementation of the three recommendations from that plan: developing diversified revenue streams, growing strategic partnerships, and building an engaged constituency for state parks.
 "The Montana State Parks and Recreation Board looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the Parks in Focus Commission to advance our shared goals for implementation of the State Parks strategic plan," said Angie Grove, Chair of the State Parks and Recreation Board. "I am excited to be a part of this effort and look forward to working collaboratively to help grow and sustain support for our state parks."
 The Parks in Focus Commission consists of 12 volunteer professionals. It will operate in a collaborative, transparent manner and will be active for a term of at least 12 months, holding four public meetings around the state to discuss leading issues, gather robust public input and ideas, and develop a framework for making recommendations in a final report.
 The Parks in Focus Commission will be coordinated by two advisors, Deb Love and Ben Alexander of Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), Montana’s private partner with the effort. They will work closely with the Governor’s Office, Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks leadership and staff, the Montana State Parks and Recreation Board, and the Montana State Parks Foundation. The advisors will provide day-to-day support for the Commission and its activities. This will include preparing for Commission meetings, conducting or overseeing needed research, facilitating public engagement, managing work groups on delegated topics, and building a supporting coalition. RLF be responsible for covering its costs related to the Commission.
 

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