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Final Parks in Focus Commission meeting set in Great Falls

 

November 28, 2018



Press release

The Montana Parks in Focus Commission will host a public meeting Thursday and Friday, Dec. 13-14, in Great Falls.

The public meeting is the last of four meetings held at state parks across Montana to gather public input and develop recommendations to sustain and strengthen Montana’s state parks system.

The north-central region of Montana is home to five unique parks in the Montana state parks system, including Ackley Lake, First Peoples Buffalo Jump, Giant Springs, Sluice Boxes and Tower Rock. Giant Springs, the state’s most visited park, is home to the largest freshwater spring in the country.

“The Parks in Focus Commission has been working all year to understand and address the most pressing issues facing state parks,” said Stace Lindsay, chair of the Parks in Focus Commission. “We look forward to visiting Great Falls and meeting at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park to share our findings and recommendations. We’re optimistic that in partnership with other leaders in the state we can build the state parks system Montanans want and deserve.”

  The Parks in Focus Commission was created in January by Gov. Steve Bullock to strengthen Montana’s state parks system and to ensure the Department of Fish, Wildlife and 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 health care.

The first of four commission meetings was held in Three Forks in February. The second meeting was held in Kalispell in April. The third meeting was in Glendive in September. This meeting at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park near Great Falls is the final meeting of the Parks in Focus Commission.

The commission is tasked with providing recommendations to the governor, state Legislature and Fish, Wildlife and Parks on three strategies that emerged from the state parks strategic planning effort: growing strategic partnerships, building an engaged constituency and diversifying revenue.

The Parks in Focus Commission and Montana State Parks Foundation are co-hosting a welcome reception Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Ursuline Center from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with light food, drinks and a discussion about how parks connect us, build community, and keep us healthy and happy.

The agenda for Friday, Dec. 14, includes a morning tour of First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park as well as a drum circle and blessing from local tribal members and formal commission meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at First Peoples Buffalo Jump Visitor Center.

Commission encouraged members of the public to join the meeting, which is an opportunity to provide input on creating a robust and relevant state parks system for Montana. The commission is approving its final recommendations at the Dec. 14 meeting.

  To view the Parks in Focus Commission meeting agenda or to learn more, visit http://www.chartinganewtomorrow.com/parks-in-focus/.

 

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