MOGA is Montana’s alliance of over 300 licensed professional guides and outfitters. We offer several membership levels, including Outfitter, Guide, Associate and Business Memberships.
MOGA serves as a relentless and highly effective advocate for the outfitting industry in the political arena with Federal and State government and with management agencies. MOGA provides its outfitter and guide members with ongoing marketing support to help increase awareness about trips and lodging options for prospective clients.
Outfitter Advocacy at National and State Levels
MOGA is a national leader among North America’s outfitter and guide associations. Our strong relationships with organizations that include America Outdoors, National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, Professional Outfitters and Guides of America, Big Game Forever, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, America Wildlife Conservation Partners, and US Sportsmen’s Alliance make us part of a strong conservation and political coalition. By working with these groups, and our fellow associations, MOGA maintains an effective role on key issues including USFS permit policy revision, food storage orders, travel plans and insurance issues, and wildlife and fisheries management.
Effective and Respected Representation in the Montana legislature
MOGA employs the most experienced and effective lobbyists in the state. Jean Johnson has served MOGA for many years and has developed strong relationships within the State legislature. MOGA maintains a reputation for fair and honest involvement in the legislative process and is known for its preparedness and thoughtful participation. MOGA has developed an exemplary system to keep membership advised on key issues and can utilize calls to action when necessary to make sure members’ voices are heard.
Marketing Assistance to MOGA Members
MOGA maintains a cutting-edge website that is an industry standard. Using a searchable database, visitors to the site can search and locate MOGA member outfitters who are uniquely positioned to offer the exact services desired. This is a terrific marketing tool available only to MOGA members and is offered as part of the normal MOGA membership. Members are provided personalized profile pages that contain descriptions, photos and critical links to business sites. The website is supported by search engine optimization and links with top Montana travel and activity sites to maximize inbound traffic and outfitter online referrals.
Each member profile includes a link to the outfitter’s website and an in-depth listing of outfitter capabilities, trip offerings, unique activities and lodging options. No other Outfitter Association offers this kind of marketing service to its membership. This truly sets MOGA membership apart for the rest.
Representation Before State and Federal Regulators
MOGA staff and members regularly appear before State and Federal regulatory agencies, including Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, FWP Commission, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of State Lands, Montana State Legislature, Montana Board of Outfitters and the US Congress. Regulations adopted by State and Federal agencies have a significant impact on the Outfitting industry and to outdoor sports in general. MOGA strives to have experienced and informed representatives at every important hearing. In addition to offering industry comments from the outfitting industry, we remain the only effective voice speaking for the nonresident sportsmen interest. Our role in this arena seems to grow every year as the issues become increasingly complex and the consequences more serious. Our Hunter Angler Defense Fund (HADF) is critical to underwriting these efforts.
Representation on Montana’s Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus
The Legislative Sportsmen Caucus is the largest single caucus in the state legislature and is a bi-partisan group committed to sound wildlife and fisheries management and who works to maintain Montana’s rich outdoor heritage. MOGA joins other important organizations that serve on an advisory council to this important caucus. It is here that important legislation can be discussed and developed.
Representation on Key Boards and Commissions
MOGA members serve on numerous boards and commissions that include Private Lands/Public Wildlife Council and Montana Board of Outfitters Regional Advisory Councils, Land and Water Conservation Commissions, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission. Consistent, informed and active participation is critical to protecting the interests of the Outfitting industry. The complexities of the Outfitting industry are not well understood and having knowledgeable representatives is critical. Hundreds of hours are expended by MOGA membership in this area.
Public Relations and Outreach
As with any trade organization, MOGA maintains an effective public relations campaign. We bring factual information forward and try to educate others on the complexities of the outfitting industry and how we fit in with the state’s tourism economy. Additionally, we raise awareness of some of the public service efforts put forth by MOGA members, like Big Hearts under the Big Sky, a charitable program that places veterans and those who face life-threatening illness on fully guided and outfitted trips in Montana at no charge (see www.bigheartsmt.org).
MOGA staff produces a monthly Newsletter that is an informational treasure trove. MOGA News is distributed widely to the membership via email ensuring the most current information is in the hands of members. Many MOGA members believe this Newsletter alone is all the reason they need to maintain a membership in MOGA. In addition, MOGA fully utilizes the power of social media and our “best of class” website as platforms for communication our message.
Participation in the annual MOGA Winter Convention
MOGA members at all levels enjoy the opportunity to participate in the annual meeting of the Montana Outfitting Industry. Members join industry leaders and nationally recognized speakers to discuss up-to-date business practices and strategies. Benefits of attending the Convention include sharing best practices and networking opportunities with other members and with the growing tradeshow venue. Newly licensed outfitters have the opportunity to find guidance and information on how they can be more competitive.
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