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Seven Montana Organizations and Agencies Partner in “RECREATE RESPONSIBLY” Campaign

June 29, 2021


Glacier Country Tourism, Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Flathead National Forest, Montana Office of Tourism, Discover Kalispell and Explore Whitefish




In an unprecedented collaboration, seven Western Montana and Montana agencies and organizations have partnered to launch a comprehensive campaign that addresses challenges impacting the entire region and state.

Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Flathead National Forest, Montana Office of Tourism, Glacier Country Tourism, Discover Kalispell and Explore Whitefish have launched “Recreate Responsibly,” a nationwide initiative that guides and informs those recreating in our state to be good stewards of Montana’s people, culture and land.  The campaign targets visitors, residents and businesses, providing education and tools for best practices on how to minimize impact, leave no trace, know before you go, prevent wildland fires, stop aquatic invasive species, and travel safely.

“In the spring I reached out to a couple of our trusted tourism partners and state and federal agencies to discuss the upcoming season and challenges we experienced last season,” says Gina Kerzman, Public Affairs Officer at Glacier National Park. “Several partners volunteered to join our efforts, including the state of Montana, as it became apparent that we were all dealing with similar issues. I’m thrilled at what resulted in an action-based, statewide initiative and the positive impact this campaign could have not only on Glacier National Park, but the entire region and state.”

Says Racene Friede, President and CEO of Glacier Country Tourism, the eight-county tourism region encompassing Western Montana, “Whether the issue is properly extinguishing a campfire, interaction with wild animals, trail etiquette, properly disposing of waste, traveling safely in a COVID-19 era, or creating an inclusive outdoors, this impacts us all. Glacier Country Tourism was already a partner with the nation-wide Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and the expansion of this into a regional and state-wide collaboration just made sense from both a pooling-of-resources and power-in-numbers point of view.”

Building upon messaging from the Recreate  and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the comprehensive campaign includes resources available to businesses throughout the state as well as marketing and messaging targeted at travelers and recreators.

The consumer-facing (visitor and resident) campaign includes webpages, airport signage, statewide television and radio advertising, billboards, fuel media video PSAs, rack cards, trailhead signage, social media advertising and posts, videos, and a Recreate Responsibly “pledge” visitors and residents can sign.

The business-partner facing campaign includes a certification program, and a toolkit including printable posters, printable flyers, printable table tents, sample website copy, sample social media posts, sample PSAs, and social media badges.

The Montana Office of Tourism created the toolkit of resources available to businesses statewide, and a mini grant program for Destination Management Organizations to help integrate and produce online and print materials. “We recognize that not all communities across Montana have access to the same resources,” says Jan Stoddard of the Montana Office of Tourism, “and yet we’re all dealing with the same issues.  This grant program helps level the playing field so our smaller communities are not left behind in having the opportunity to share the Recreate Responsibly messaging.”  

Says Friede, “We recognize that as this industry changes, so must we all.  Our organization is no longer just a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that simply markets Western Montana as a tourism destination.  Our role must also be one of destination management that assists in the preservation of the places and experiences that make our area so attractive to visitors in the first place. The Recreate Responsibly initiative is a fantastic step in that direction.” 



For interview opportunities:

(Glacier National Park) Gina Kurzman: Public Affairs Officer, Glacier National Park, 406.888.5838

(Missoula) Racene Friede: President and CEO, Glacier Country Tourism, 406.544.2697

(Kalispell) Dillon Tabish: Information and Education Outreach for Northwest Region of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 406.751.4564

(Kalispell) Diane Medler: Executive Director, Discover Kalispell, The Kalispell Convention & Visitor Bureau, 406.249.5841

(Whitefish) Dylan Boyle: Executive Director, Explore Whitefish, The Whitefish Convention & Visitor Bureau, 406.862.3390

(Helena) Jan Stoddard:  Bureau Chief, Montana Office of Tourism at the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, 406.841.2894 (Inquiries re: Recreate Responsibly toolkit)

(Flathead National Forest) Beth Pargman: Public Affairs Officer, Flathead National Forest, 406-309-4561

For general inquiries:

Lucy Beighle, Public Relations Manager, Glacier Country Tourism:, 406.239.3193