A diverse group of Montana state agencies and conservation organizations recently established the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame to honor individuals who contributed to the restoration and conservation of Montana's fish, wildlife, and other outdoor amenities.
Participants in the effort include Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; the Montana Historical Society; Montana's Outdoor Legacy Foundation; the Montana Wildlife Federation; the Montana Wilderness Association; Montana Trout Unlimited and the Cinnabar Foundation. Efforts to include Tribal representation are underway.
"The aim of the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame is to capture the stories of the exceptional individuals who, either as volunteers or professionals, nurtured resources essential to Montana’s outdoor heritage," said Jeff Hagener, director of FWP in Helena.
The induction of individuals into the Hall of Fame will also build public awareness and pass on to others Montana's conservation heritage.
In a recent letter commending the group's effort, Governor Steve Bullock noted that creating a Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame "is a good way to begin capturing and teaching the personal stories that made these treasures of our state happen."
Representatives of the founding groups have been meeting monthly to assemble a list of potential inaugural nominees. The first group of potential nominees includes citizens, government officials, hunters and anglers, farmers and ranchers; and people who have worked to protect everything from wilderness and water quality to fish habitat, big game, and endangered species. The founders are planning an event to announce the first class of Hall of Fame inductees in December 2014.
"Today's treasured wild nature was restored from what was once the wildlife bone-yard of 19th century America," said Jim Posewitz, who led the effort to create the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame. "The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame will capture, preserve, and teach the stories of the men and women whose conservation ethic helped protect Montana's quiet beauty and grandeur for the benefit of future generations."
Over the long run, the founders envision a process where people from across Montana and all walks of life will nominate people who reflect the state's diverse heritage of resource conservation and stewardship. The group is also seeking funding to help ensure that the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame remains broad-based and representative.
Hiking in Glacier National Park