Fact:  From 2000-2009, Montana created 4,477 net new businesses, while the U.S. saw a decline in business at a growth rate of 3% for the same time

Press & Communications:

Businesses to Zinke: Antiquities Act is Critical in Protecting National Treasures

Senator Tester Announces Bill to Permanently Protect Yellowstone from Mining

BFMO release re: President’s budget: “Dangerous cuts to public lands hurt jobs, economy

BFMO Responds to Confirmation of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of Interior

Business for Montana’s Outdoors rallies around bringing Outdoor Retailer to Montana

Montana businesses’ letter to Daines re: new role as Chair of Western Caucus

Business for Montana’s Outdoors’ response to 2017 Conservation in the West Poll

Businesses present Congressman Zinke with public lands pledge

LWCF at Center of Energy Bill Fight

Senate Passes LWCF Permanent Renewal

Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition Launches Mine Opposition

Column:  Montana’s Public Lands Driving Economy Forward

Senator Tester Touts Value of Public Lands at MT Haymakers Summit

Helena IR:  Haymakers Summit highlights importance of outdoors to MT’s Economy

Montana’s Flyfising Community Responds to Passage of Wilderness Package

Montana Standard: President Signs Wilderness Bill into Law

Column:  Public Lands, Quality of Life Give Bozeman an Edge in Luring Business

Editorial:  Montana Lands Have Value Beyond Mining

Bozeman Businesses meet with Interior Secretary Jewell

Column: Time for Businesses to Speak Up on Behalf of the Outdoors

Editorial: Tester’s FJRA Good for Economy, Jobs

Editorial: Montana Embraces Business Opportunities in Great Outdoors

Flathead Beacon Article: Natural Opportunities; Environment fuels jobs, opportunity in Montana

Research & Resources:

NEW2017 Colorado College Conservation in the West Poll

2016 Voter Survey on Public Lands

An Economic Look at LWCF: Keeping Montana the Last Best Place

NEW! Colorado College Poll Shows Public Lands Driving Economy in the West

Public Opinion Strategies: Montana Business Survey

BFMO_InfoGraphic survey

Research Fact Sheet

Research Highlights:

  • 70% of business owners say “the Montana outdoor lifestyle” was a factor in deciding to locate or expand their business in Montana.  This topped the list of factors, outranking other factors including tax rates, access to raw materials, utility costs, quality health care, access to high speed internet, and airline service
  • Young business owners and owners of growing businesses were most likely to say that public lands were a factor in locating their businesses in Montana
  • 73% of business owners say we can protect land and water and have a strong economy with good jobs
  • 89% say national parks, forests and wildlife areas are an essential part of Montana’s economy

Headwaters Economics

NEW! Haymakers Report:  Montana’s Economy, Public Lands, and Competitive Advantage


Research highlights:

  • Montana is growing and outperforming the rest of the nation in terms of employment, personal income, and precept income growth
  • A mix of service industries are leading Montana’s job growth, diversifying the state’s economy
  • During the last four decades, western non-metro counties with significant protected federal land added jobs more than 4x faster than peers without protected federal land
  • Montana is seeing an increase in non-labor income, earnings, and per capita income

West is Best:  Protected Lands Promote Jobs and Higher Incomes

Research Summary Graphic

Research highlights:

  • The West’s popular national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other public ands offer its growing high-tech and services industries a competitive advantage, a crucial reason why the western economy has outperformed the rest of the US economy in key measures of growth – employment, population, and personal income – during the last four decades
  • Protected federal public lands support faster rates of job growth and are correlated with higher levels of per capital income
  • Montana’s economy is growing and outperforming the broader US economy; from 2000-2010, Montana’s population grew by 10%, employment by 12%, per capita income by 18% and real personal income by 29%. This growth was driven by higher quality jobs and a rapid growth of investment and retirement income
  • People are drawn to Montana for its remarkable quality of life and natural amenities, bringing investment income and business connections to the larger world
  • Montana is attracting people and investment, while creating businesses faster than the US; from 2000 to 2009, Montana created roughly 4,500 net new businesses, and the number of businesses per 1,000 people grew by 6%. Comparatively in the US, over the same time period the number of business per 1,000 people shrank by 3%
  • Economists believe protected federal lands are an important driver of economic growth. Across Montana and the west, protected federal lands such as National Parks and Wilderness are associated with higher rates of job growth, charting a 345% increase in jobs for those areas with more than 30% federally protected public lands

Outdoor Industry Association


Research Highlights:

  • Outdoor recreation is essential to the American economy. Every year, Americans spend $646 billion on outdoor recreation, which creates jobs, supports communities, generates tax revenue and helps drive and diversify the economy
  • In Montana, outdoor recreation generates $5.8 billion in consumer spending, creates 64,000 direct Montana jobs, and puts out $1.5 billion in wages and salaries for Montanans
  • Preserving access to outdoor recreation protects the economy, the businesses, the communities and the people who depend on the ability to access and utilize our outdoor spaces. These public lands are essential to maintaining our business and economic advantage, and to maintaining our diversified economy

Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity