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  Comments (1) Total Wednesday Apr. 23, 2014
 
Montana is a Great Place to Play… and Work
Guest Column
For good reason, generations of Americans have called Montana “high, wide and handsome.” Our accessible public lands, big skies and clean water make our state a world-famous place to play. And that’s what makes it one of the best places on Earth to do business.

That’s our shared belief at Business for Montana’s Outdoors: that our public lands are not only vital to our quality of life; they are also key to strengthening and building our economy. Our new grassroots coalition of businesses lends an important voice to the discussion about how our public lands drive innovation and entrepreneurial business development in Montana, and how they give many businesses a sharp competitive advantage.

Right now, Business for Montana’s Outdoors is 28 members strong, and growing. Our members employ more than 400 people. Our agenda is open, and we don’t pick and choose. We simply share an interest in bringing together strong mainstream Montana businesses that rely on our state’s outdoor heritage – from manufacturing companies and high tech firms to breweries to retailers to fishing products companies.

BFMO was born from a roundtable discussion about how protected lands benefit business and opportunity in Montana and across the West. After being asked to share stories about how Montana’s landscapes benefitted their businesses, the founding members of our organization realized the long-term value in keeping the discussion going.

At BFMO, there is no one business who speaks louder than the others. There is no one business that drives the agenda. All members participate freely and of their own interest. There is no president, and no one carries more weight than anyone else.

Earlier this year, some members of our group traveled to Washington, D.C., to be part of discussions at the White House and the Interior Department. We have met with our Congressional delegation to discuss policy that creates jobs, investment, and opportunities for Montana communities.

Montanans usually mention quality of life when we talk about why we live, work, and play here. Quality of life is also why good businesses are attracted to Montana, and why they find an advantage in recruiting and creating good jobs.

We aren’t driven by political opinions (July 3 Beacon: “Brother, Can You Paradigm?”). We are driven by factual stories and bottom lines of the dozens of businesses involved with BFMO. That’s the reason these businesses choose to be engaged – to change the face of conservation discussion, and to advocate for the good policy that will continue to protect what benefits all of us, now and for generations to come.

We invite all Montana businesses who share our vision to become a part of BFMO. Our website is businessformontanasoutdoors.com.

Marne Hayes is director of Business for Montana’s Outdoors.
 
On 07-17-13, mooseberryinn commented....
I sincerely hope people can come and enjoy our great outdoors.  Hopefully, our neglected forests won’t be burning when they decide to plan a trip here.  or - there won’t be a pile of lawsuits in progress to limit access to forests, lakes and streams.
 
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