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”.
Michelle McNamee is the Outdoor Recreation Program Manager at Montana State Parks in Helena, managing the Land & Water Conservation Fund and new Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Programs. She also served as Recreational Trails Program Manager during her tenure with FWP. Michelle began her career working for the Student Conservation Association, leading high school trail crews throughout the country. Since then, she has worked in marketing, communications, and emergency management. Michelle enjoys running, traveling, and, more recently, working from home with her husband and cats.
Beth R. Shumate
Montana State Parks Administrator
Montana State Parks
Beth Shumate, Montana State Parks Administrator-Beth has been the Parks Division Administrator since 2017. Prior to this position, she served as the State Trails Coordinator managing the Recreational Trails Program since 2009. Beth’s current position includes administering and managing the Montana State Parks system that has 55 state parks throughout Montana. She also oversees five outdoor recreation grant programs including LWCF. This position allows her to thoroughly develop strong partnerships by working with various government agencies and organizations and to be a solid resource, advocate and voice for parks, trails and livability programs. Beth is passionate about connecting people to nature through parks and trails and considering innovative measures to provide this simple and inexpensive antidote (the great outdoors) to the twin epidemics of “nature deficit disorder” and sedentary lifestyles.