State of Montana Website Montana State Parks Website
The Montana Challenge

West Meets West…

Remaining the last best place for fish and wildlife in a changing west…
Mountain Biker sharing the road with a cattle drive and cowboys on horseback. One road, two worlds

Today’s technology allows people to live where they want, and many people want to live near the mountains and rivers of the Rocky Mountain West. Montana is now part of this "Third Coast." As newcomers arrive, loggers and miners share the economic stage with Internet entrepreneurs and service professionals. Our natural resources now have broader value, as amenities as well as commodities.

While Montana feels the same changes occurring throughout the Rocky Mountains, we have an advantage: thanks to the hard choices made by generations past, our fish and wildlife populations remain comparatively healthy. Our challenge: manage this resource for its traditional value and its potential to attract people who are building the economy of the future.

Archived Study

The Montana Challenge was a groundbreaking cooperative study of the relationships between fish and wildlife conservation and economic prosperity sponsored by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and The U.S. Forest Service Northern Region. The Montana Challenge project aimed to offer Montanans a common understanding of socio-economic trends affecting fish and wildlife to help citizens make sound decisions for the state’s future. The study was completed in 2005. The information is offered here as a historical reference for students, researchers, natural resource managers, lawmakers, and the public to examine.

The Montana Challenge Team has compiled information to help Montanans explore key questions. What is the value of fish and wildlife populations? What is our desired relationship with our natural resources? What public policies will help us reach our goals?

The Montana Challenge Web site includes extensive research reports, vignettes, and a library.  We encourage you to review our material and communicate your opinions to decision-makers at all levels.

The Research Reports section includes research on Montana's geography, economics, demographics, politics, land and water use, fish and wildlife tourism, and natural resource law.

Vignettes provides a sampling of fish and wildlife management challenges emerging from Montana's changing social and economic landscape.