Last Best Outdoors Fest 2019 focuses on Montana's recreation economy

Courtesy: Last Best Outdoors Fest Facebook 

MISSOULA -The 2019 Last Best Outdoors Fest showcases the role Montana's public lands play in generating more than $7 billion for Montana and supporting over 71,000 Montana jobs.
 
The event is hosted by Business for Montana's Outdoors, Montana Wilderness Association, the Montana Wildlife Federation and the Wilderness Society.The 2019 Last Best Outdoors Fest will take place Sept. 4 in Missoula at Caras Park and the Wilma theatre.
 
This year's theme focuses on showcasing and celebrating Montana's outdoor recreation economy and the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act reintroduced by Senator Jon Tester.
 
"The big thing for me is I really like to distinguish that this isn't just about camping, guided fishing, and things that we do from a tourist standpoint, but it also has to do with people that locate their businesses in Missoula because of all of the recreational opportunities that we have," said Todd Frank, owner of Trail Head River Sports. 
 
According to Congress bill S.507, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act of 2017, the bill would direct the Department of Agriculture to complete a landscape assessment of the Seeley Lake Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest and evaluate the ecological condition of its forests and watersheds. It would also identify actions needed to encourage sustainability, resilience and health by helping to recover forest ecosystems. 
 
"I think the outdoor economy is one of the fastest growing pieces of the economy in Montana and it's a piece we need to manage and be effective about how we grow that business but we have an opportunity now to get out ahead of it in a way that we haven't had that opportunity in a long time, so I think it's important," said Frank.
 
The event will feature food trucks, craft beer and booths featuring outdoor organizations and recreation businesses. Also, the first 500 in attendance will receive a free 2019 Last Best Outdoors Fest cup.

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