Unpacking the Great American Outdoors Act: What it Means for Montana’s Frontcountry Parks, Trails and Access
What You Might Have Missed:
- Places to get outdoors are at the heart of Montana’s outdoor recreation economy and way of life. Outdoor recreation in Montana generates $7.1 billion dollars and constitutes 5.1% of the gross domestic product
- Passage of the GAOA is a game-changer for front-country parks, trails, and outdoor recreation access on federal, state, local, and private lands by increasing available funds available for planning, acquisition, and development of places to get outdoors.
- Montana’s Federal agencies will benefit through National Parks and Federal and LWCF federal $1.9 billion annually for 5 years to address the National Park infrastructure backlog and other federal recreation facilities AND increased funding for LWCF.
- Montana’s State, local, and tribes will benefit may see $3 million per year, a 54% increase from last year, year after year for state and locally sponsored parks, trails fishing/hunting access, boating and camping projects, and the facilities that support those uses.
- LWCF stateside is a reimbursement grant program for state, local and tribal agencies which requires a 50/50 match which can be a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. Fact Sheet for Community Grants program. Successful projects should be a high priority in SCORP, have partnerships, plans, and cash/in-kind funding in place.
- LWCF stateside is administered by Montana FWP. In the past, the application process opens in November and closes in February.