Montana is blessed with rich outdoor assets, including 33.8 million acres of public lands, nearly 170,000 miles of river, and more than 3,200 lakes and reservoirs.
Montanans Care About the Outdoors
Montana’s outdoors is part of the state’s culture: 95% of Montanans say outdoor recreation is important to their quality of life. In a recent poll, 87% of Montanans call themselves outdoor recreation enthusiasts and 81% support conservation of wildlife migration corridors.
Nearly 30% of Montanans over the age of 15 participate in motorized recreation. Recreation with off-highway vehicles and snowmobiles increased more than 200% in Montana since 2000.
The Outdoors is Big Business
Montana’s outdoor recreation economy generates $7.1 billion in consumer spending, $286 million in state and local taxes, and 71,000 jobs. Montanans also understand the economic influence of outdoor recreation—96% say it is important to the economic future of the state.
In 2017, anglers spent $919.3 million in more than 3.3 million angling days, and hunters spent $389.2 million in more than 2.6 million hunter days. Cyclists, off-highway vehicle users, alpine skiers, and guests on guided trips also generate significant income and jobs for the state.
A 2018 survey of high tech and manufacturing companies in Montana found that our quality of life—“our lifestyle, recreational opportunities, and the beauty of the landscape”—is the most frequently-mentioned advantage to doing business in the state. The same survey found that the high tech industry is growing nine times faster than the overall Montana economy and pays twice the state’s median wage.