MISSOULA, Mont. - Trash on trails and interactions with wildlife... Montana is seeing an uptick in both of these and one tourism improvement district is taking action to help.
Destination Missoula said an influx of visitors appears to coincide with an increase in problems on Montana trails and rivers. In order to get it under control, the organization is using posters and guides to remind visitors to 'Recreate Responsibly.'
The posters direct people to a website with more resources like trail and fire conditions, river and backcountry safety and what to do around wildlife.
It's a national campaign but Destination Missoula put its own spin on it, expanding the campaign for fall and winter when correct information can be even more critical because of changing conditions like snow, avalanches and hypothermia.
"It was just people being outside recreating and not really knowing how to do it," Barbara Neilan, executive director at Destination Missoula, explained. "People who've lived here for a long time, or if you've grown up here, it's kind of a way of life and you learn it as you're growing up. You understand how to do it and these people did not."
She added while tourism is important for the state's economy, the agency is working to alleviate its impacts and help preserve why Montanans choose to live here.
On top of the posters and guides, Destination Missoula is starting to work on a stewardship master plan.
For more guidance on how to recreating responsibly, click here.