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Access to outdoor recreation is the goal of the UM MonTECH Recreation program

 MonTECH Outdoor Recreation Lee Bastion and Kathy LaurinFor the past several years, MonTECH director Kathy Laurin and her staff have been compiling accessibility information for Montana public recreation lands. During the summer of 2013, Lee Bastian, who recently retired as a Regional Park Manager for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, evaluated recreation sites in western Montana to see how accessible they are… or aren’t, for people with disabilities.

They found that many sites could be improved to meet universal design guidelines through simple upgrades and maintenance efforts. The result is many more outdoor recreation options for individuals beyond the designated accessible sites.

People with disabilities have commented that the resource provides valuable information enabling them to make informed decisions about what options best meet their needs. MonTECH staff also discovered that many agency personnel are striving to improve access for all visitors. They are appreciative of the MonTECH resource.

The recreation site evaluation data is accessed through a one-stop website resource and is a collaborative effort with several agency partners. MonTECH helps Montanans participate in wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, and other activities, such as camping and boating.

Visit the site at http://recreation.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/mt/Search_Form.asp or contact Kathy Laurin at the Rural Institute, 406-243-5769.

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