2023 Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit

“Inspiring Conservation, Community, and Diversity”

October 11 – 13, 2023  |  Butte, Montana


The Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit is back and it's coming to Butte!

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 2+ day event is dedicated to exploring the conservation, economic, and social aspects of outdoor recreation in Montana. We will be discussing the importance of preserving our natural resources for future generations, examining the economic impacts of outdoor recreation, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors.



Located in historic Butte, the traditional homelands of the Shoshone-Bannock and Séliš & Ktunaxa (Salish & Kootenai) people, and a city rich in heritage and outdoor recreation adventures, the Summit will serve as a gathering place to convene, learn, and create partnerships that will guide solutions to the challenges we face in creating, building, and sustaining Montana’s outdoor recreation experiences. You can expect live panels, dynamic guest speakers, workshops, field tours, a film festival, and so much more.

Dates: October 11-13, 2023

Location: Copper King and surrounding areas in Butte, Montana


Montana has a $7.1 billion economy that is thriving. But in these changing times, continued broad-scale collaborative work within and without the outdoor recreation economy will secure our sustainable and renewable core. Increasing demands on our outdoor recreation resources require the state to be proactive in how we plan for outdoor recreation – together we will work for today and for the future.

The 2023 Montana Outdoor Recreation Summit will cover the following three critical themes that have emerged through an assessment of outdoor recreation professionals across the state.


Conservation of Outdoor

Recreation Resources

  • Addressing the impacts of climate change on outdoor recreation and building climate resilience; infrastructure; viewsheds; habitat; wildlife
  • Communicating outdoor recreation and conservation needs to local, state, and federal elected officials
  • Managing outdoor recreation during natural disasters (e.g., flood, wildfire, drought)
Website Photos

Economic impacts of

outdoor recreation

  • Increase understanding of the economic value of open spaces and outdoor recreation
  • Help communities in transition envision and plan for sustainable expansion of their tourism economy
  • Examine the ripple effect that investment in outdoor recreation infrastructure has on quality of life, health, and economic vitality

Diversity, equity & inclusion in

outdoor spaces

  • Addressing conservation through different lenses
  • Indigenous inclusion in natural resource management
  • Providing access for all to public lands and outdoor recreation for all Montana residents and visitors
  • Cultivate diversity of thought and voices around outdoor recreation and how to make outdoor communities more equitable

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We expect more than 300 individuals to participate in the 2023 Summit, including:


  • Recreation professionals including guides and outfitters, retail and manufacturing companies, recreation and trail planners, and builders
  • Outdoor recreation and education program providers including those serving youth, disabled, and diverse communities
  • Travel and tourism and community development professionals
  • Land managers, natural resource scientists, and public agency staff
  • Policymakers, advocates, community leaders and influencers, visionaries, and philanthropic partners
  • Conservation and stewardship professionals and volunteers
  • Researchers and practitioners working at the intersections of outdoor recreation and health, education, economics, conservation, and restoration
  • Students and early-career professionals exploring opportunities in outdoor recreation


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