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Montana State Parks expect record-setting visitation numbers in 2021

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 19:04:49-04

KALISPELL — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) officials are reminding those visiting Montana’s favorite recreation areas to do their part in respecting the land.

“It’s a big reason why people come from all over the world, to enjoy our trails and our lakes and rivers and parks," FWP spokesman Dillon Tabish told MTN News.

Montana State Parks recorded more than 3.4 million visitors in 2020, a 29% increase over 2019 and Tabish says park officials expect another busy season this summer.

“Based on flights coming in from out of state, just the interest we’re hearing from our local lodging establishments it sounds like for sure we’re going to have a busy summer with a lot of people,” said Tabish.

Tabish noted that visitors can do their part to keep parks safe and clean by leaving no trace of garbage behind, respecting wildlife and keeping pets and campfires under control.

“And we would hate to see these summers that our just filled with smoke and you can’t really get outside and enjoy these amazing places so, making sure your campfires out, making sure you’re not contributing to any potential wildfires,” said Tabish.

Tabish said it’s up to all visitors and community members to hold each other accountable when visiting these cherished lands.

“Now more than ever we really want to be following these practices that protect the integrity of outdoor spaces, our trails, our lakes, our rivers, our parks because we would hate to see these kind of disintegrate in quality,” said Tabish.

Flathead Lake State Parks saw more than 471,690 visits in 2020, a 33% increase over 2019.