Community Outdoor Recreation Realization Pathway To Realize Community’s OR Potential


Sheena Pate

Sheena Pate

Project Coordinator

Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council

Sheena Pate of Columbia Falls, MT, project coordinator for the Crown of the Continent Geotourim Council, works in and around the international transboundary region (Alberta, British Columbia & Montana) introducing the geotourism concept and how it can be a tool to build a sustainable tourism industry without sacrificing community values or identity, in partnership with National Geographic. It is her belief that geotourism can effectively sustain regional businesses, preserve community character and promote conservation.
This Texas born gal grew up and worked in the outdoor recreation industry before making a run for the captivating mountains of Colorado and Montana. Pate’s passion for bringing people together to work toward sustaining and enhancing the character of geographical places led her to earn a degree in watershed science from Colorado State University and a degree in environmental studies from University of Montana. She was drawn to the Crown of the Continent over 16 years ago because of its distinct communities and access to unspoiled landscapes. The last 18 years she has had the pleasure of working as a Program Coordinator, Outreach Consultant, Watershed Scientist, Environmental Technician and Conservation Educator for Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council, Flathead National Forest, Whitefish Legacy Partners, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP/Curecanti NRA, City of Fort Collins- Utilities, Watershed Education Network and watershed restoration consultants.
When she’s not volunteering for local and state non-profits you can often find her with a camera in hand exploring the vast region and capturing family adventures with her fly fishing guide/hunting guide/ski patrol husband, outdoor obsessed toddler and trusty dog Bridger Merle. You can often catch her and crew on @crowngeotourism and @findyourwildcollective Instagram feeds enjoying the region’s “hidden gems”.

Diane Conradi


Montana Access Project

Diane Conradi is a seasoned attorney with a passion for building things that last, and a penchant for turning great ideas into reality. She excels at helping communities create and sustain access to the trails and waters that strengthen economies and preserve the unique character of a place.
Diane earned her J.D. from the University of Oregon, before moving to Montana to seek inspiration and opportunities in the Flathead’s wild places. Her legal career has been focused on improving access to justice for all in Oregon and Montana, improving access to the great outdoors for all as a founder of Whitefish Legacy Partners and Montana State Parks Foundation, and by providing high quality legal services to businesses and individuals as a partner at Conradi Anderson.
Through her pioneering work with Whitefish Legacy Partners which has resulted in 42 miles of the Whitefish Trail and thousands of acres of protected state trust and private lands, Diane experienced first-hand the challenges and opportunities facing communities that want to provide quality “frontcountry” access for health, wellbeing and economic benefit.
In 2018, Diane is making that passion and experience more widely available through her new company called the Montana Access Project (MAP). Through MAP, Diane and her team will help communities across Montana protect, create and enhance great access to the great outdoors close to home.
Rachel Schmidt

Rachel Schmidt


Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation

This Montana girl has spent her professional career in the outdoor recreation industry and is now working for all Montanans and Montana’s outdoor recreation economy at the Director of the Montana Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation.
libby metcalf

Libby Metcalf

Associate Professor, Co-Chair

Department of Society and Conservation & Program Director, PTRM

Dr. Libby Metcalf is an Associate Professor of Recreation & Natural Resource Management in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana.  In 2011, Dr. Metcalf received a dual Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment.  Her research interests generally center around recreation management issues, wildlife related issues, and understanding complex social-ecological systems.  Dr. Metcalf’s theoretical approach is based in social-psychology and often includes the examination of attitudes, values, and beliefs.  Dr. Metcalf has worked on statewide studies examining outdoor recreation, hunter recruitment and retention issues, and river management.  Her more recent work has focused on larger social-ecological systems such as the social dimensions of river restoration and wildlife management.  Dr. Metcalf utilizes structural equation modeling in social data analysis and has been working with other researchers to develop models to couple human and natural systems.  Along with her research, Dr. Metcalf is a dedicated teacher where she provides field-based opportunities for her undergraduate students including field trips and internships.  At the graduate level, Dr. Metcalf offers seminar style courses and close mentoring for her advisees.  Libby is also an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast, favoring activities that include sunshine and water.

Joe Alexander

Director RMLHW

Forest Service- Northern Region

Joe Alexander is the Northern Region Director for Recreation, Lands, Minerals, Heritage and Wilderness Programs. He is a 27 year veteran of the US Forest Service and is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Forestry. He is passionate about the outdoors, all types of outdoor recreation, and the industry that supports it.

Jan Stoddard

Bureau Chief, Industry Services & Outreach

Montana Department of Commerce

Jan Stoddard is the Bureau Chief for the Industry Services and Outreach team located in the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development Division of the Montana Department of Commerce. Her team is responsible for programs and products that assist tourism organizations and communities in developing infrastructure, sustainable strategies, and product development. Specific programs include tourism, events, and destination development grants; administrative management of Montana’s 6 Tourism Regions and 17 Convention and Visitors Bureaus; the Made in Montana program; and other outreach and educational programs.

Sam Kavanagh

Vice President

Gateway to Glacier Trail

Sam Kavanagh, is a native Montanan born and raised just outside the West Entrance to Glacier National Park. Sam is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer with over 15 years of experience working with communities throughout the west. In addition to his duties as an Engineering consultant you will find Mr. Kavanagh actively engaged in his community through the way of service whether it be from his position on the Columbia Falls Planning Board, the VP of Gateway to Glacier Trail Org. or perhaps fitting your latest backcountry ski boot purchase at Rocky Mountain Outfitter.  Sam has a passion for people, the Valley that has always been home, and preserving the wildness in all of it.