Bigfork Area Outdoor Recreation Plan

Project Description

The Purpose

To support health and wellness, economic vitality, and quality of life for residents and visitors through the creation of a Bigfork Area Outdoor Recreation PlanThe project will inventory existing and potential recreation destinations and connections in Bigfork, vicinity, and N. Flathead Lake region, and recommend goals and objectives for sustainable recreation use. It will serve as a community-led road map for a safe, connected, sustainable high-quality recreation access system to Bigfork’s world-class rivers, mountains, and Flathead Lake which are a key competitive advantage for attracting and retaining resident businesses and employees, quality of life, and sustainable tourism. The plan will also increase grant competitiveness for increased infrastructure and other recreation/transportation funding sources.

The Value


  • Community Vitality and Health  Understand and advance the community’s relationship to the greater trail systems and increase recreational amenities. The economic value is derived from creating a more livable community to retain and attract a resident population, which has been aging over the last decade. Additionally, the value of the improvements for the local population will invite sustainability for the project. 
  • Economic Vitality Packaging outdoor recreation as a quality-of-life enhancement help to retain or recruit businesses and residents. Additionally, using trails and recreation access as a way to attract and retain visitors supporting the hospitality industry. We anticipate that the project will support a continued increase in Main Street and hospitality business revenue.

The Approach

Bigfork Approach

Community Visioning Meeting

February 7, 2022

In collaboration with project partners, a community visioning meeting was held to discuss upcoming (and potential) recreation projects in Bigfork. Click to read more!

Read More

Project Area

MicrosoftTeams-image (4)

The Team




Diane Conradi is the founder/CEO of Montana Access Project. As an experienced attorney, founder and advisor to Whitefish Legacy Partners/Whitefish Trail, Montana State Parks Foundation, and appointed member to Montana's first State Parks and Recreation Board she has in-depth experience in creating, enhancing and sustaining high quality nature-based recreation access that supports economic vitality, community health and quality of life for residents and visitors alike.




Kathleen McMahon has 35 years of community planning experience. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois and a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from George Washington University. She is a member of the Montana Association of Planners, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and Montana Economic Development Association.




Lech Naumovich has been promoting conservation and restoration awareness through science, community involvement, media, public speaking. He earned a Master’s Degree in Restoration and Landscape Ecology from the Yale School for the Environment and then subsequently took his talents to work for various agencies including the US Forest Service, BLM, Fort Hunter Liggett – USARC, California Native Plant Society, as well as starting a restoration ecology non-profit named Golden Hour Restoration Institute.

Project Partners

Bigfork Outdoor Recreation Alliance (BORA) Members

Want project updates? Join our mailing list!