News

  • Board of Outfitter Appointments yet to be announced

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    Board of Outfitter Appointments yet to be announced As of this writing Governor Steve Bullock has yet to announce his appointments to the Montana Board of Outfitters. With the nomination of former Board Member Cunningham rejected by the Senate, the Governor has two seats to fill this next cycle; including the Fishing Outfitter seat and the Big Game Hunting Outfitter seat currently held by Tabor. Pat Tabor is up for reappointment. We are hopeful that the Governor will see the exceptional work Pat has done to bring thoughtful discussion and reasoned action to the Board process. Pat has taken the Governors’ demand for accurate and complete land use reporting very seriously and has provided the leadership in rule making necessary accomplish that direction. Given today’s political environment it is possible Pat would not be reappointed. However, if you would like to send a note to the Governor supporting Pat Tabors reappointment to the Montana... Read More

  • Sandy Sallee receives Academy of Western Artists Award

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    The Academy of Western Artists is proud to announce this year’s Buck Ramsey Cowgirl Poet of the Year. Sandy Seaton Sallee, Emigrant, MT, grew up in Yellowstone National Park, where she rode horseback among the elk and drove four-up stagecoaches. After cowboying in New Mexico, she returned to her native Montana where she met her future husband, Scott Sallee, in a wilderness hunting camp. Sandy and Scott now own and operate Black Mountain Outfitters, a wilderness and ranch outfitting business. Sandy’s original western writing has been featured in magazines, gatherings, and shows across America and Canada. Sandy has been inducted into the Montana Poet Hall of Fame, and has been an invited performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering a number of times since her first appearance there in 1990. Presentations for the 21st Annual Will Rogers Awards were March 16, 2017 in the Brown Lupton Ballroom at Texas Christian University in Fort... Read More

  • Message from Martha Williams, Director, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

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    As FWP’s new director – the 24th over the department’s 116-year history – I want to thank outgoing director Jeff Hagener for his commitment to Montana’s fish, wildlife, parks, and recreational resources and for handing the baton to me to build from his legacy. I also want to let Montanans know a bit about me and where I envision FWP going during the next four years. I worked as an attorney for this department from 1998 to 2011, helping FWP fight for wolf delisting, protect stream access, and conserve habitat. During my 13 years here, I also learned the importance of securing access to public lands, how private property provides essential wildlife habitat, and how climate change threatens our valuable trout fisheries. After leaving FWP, I went to the Department of the Interior to work on parks, conservation, river, and wildlife issues. I then returned to Montana to teach natural resources and wildlife law at the University... Read More

  • Federal Issues: Updates for MOGA Members

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    Forest Service Outlines Plans for Identifying Priority Trail Maintenance Areas by May 28th  By David Brown, America Outdoors Association Below are some excerpts (in italics) from the Forest Service on selection of priority trail maintenance areas as required in the National Forest Trails Stewardship Act of 2017. It is great to see the Forest Service embracing this legislation. Excerpt for the Forest Service’s Plan for Implementation of the Priority Trail Maintenance Program:  Each region will be required to submit at least 3 to 4 proposed priority areas to the Washington Office by April 15, 2017. The format for submitting regionally ranked and prioritized areas will be forthcoming.  Make Your Views Known: The following survey is not a Forest Service (or AOA) endorsed instrument but the Forest Service is apparently planning to use the results so feel free to use it to register your opinions: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TrailsActSurvey According... Read More

  • Legislative Update – April 2010

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    MOGA Members, The MOGA Legislative Committee has continued to work on behalf of you and the industry this session to proffer, support and at times oppose legislation that affect the Montana Outfitting Industry and is good for ALL Montanans. We are now into the 52nd day of the 65th Legislative Session. We are now into the third of the Session and the Legislature is moving fast.   Our Lobbyist Jean Johnson has been doing a remarkable job as have all members of the MOGA 2017 Legislative Committee (Pat Tabor, chair, Wagner Harmon, Vice Chair, Chuck Rein, Rob Arnaud, Paul Ellis, Brett Todd, and Dusty Crary). Many of you have answered the CALLS TO ACTION and we hope you will continue to do so; as it has made a huge difference. Legislative Luncheon was a BIG Success MOGA hosted its legislative Luncheon on March 28 in the Rotunda of the Capital Building. In all we fed 460 people including Legislators, Staffers, Lobbyists and others. A BIG thank... Read More

  • The Pride of Being a Guide

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    From Reside Foundation March 18, 2016 Words by Emerald LaFortune Photography by Nate Wilson, Aaron Beck and Tanner Haskins A serious nine year old boy is perched on the front of my boat. In one hand he grips a spinning rod, his other hand is clenched on a blue cam strap. We’ve just passed the confluence of the Snake River and the Salmon River. It feels like a symbolic spot, Idaho’s wildest river and it’s most domesticated meeting to shake hands. I almost speak up, ask this kid what he thinks these two rivers are trying to tell us. Then I remember he is nine and keep quiet. As the surging rapids of the confluence turn to glassy flat water, he turns to look me in the eye. “What’s your favorite animal, Emerald?” he questions. “Probably a river otter?” I reply, caught off guard. He studies me for a second. “That is a water animal. What is your favorite land animal?” “Um. Elephant.” I say. It’s the end of a long... Read More

  • 2016 Annual Report

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    MOGA had an outstanding year of accomplishments because of the tireless efforts of many fine members, and of course, our staff. We are pleased to be able to communicate with our members and friends all what MOGA has done throughout the year and our plans going into 2017. We hope you enjoy taking a look through the 2016 MOGA Annual Report. View the 2016 Annual Report

  • Outfitting and dude ranch big business in Montana

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    From The Great Falls Tribune March 6, 2017 It’s not unusual for tourism-related businesses to combine services, such as the dude ranch stays, pack trips and guided hunting trips offered by JJJ Wilderness Ranch out of Augusta, said Norma Nickerson, director of the Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research at the University of Montana. Providing a blend of related offerings, which all revolve at least partly on providing horses for riding and pack trips, “allows such businesses to be a little less seasonal,” she said. “They also get a different clientele in the summer enjoying dude ranch activities or scenic pack trips than those who might relish hunting trips in the fall.” Those sorts of services – dude ranches, pack trips and outfitter-guided hunts – are common throughout Montana and contribute a lot to state and local economies, Nickerson said. Overall Montana, a state of 1 million residents, experienced 12.3 million... Read More

  • Front outdoors experience wins over New Hampshire family

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    From The Great Falls Tribune March 6, 2017 New Hampshire farmer, businessman and educator Gray Cornwell is keen on the attractions of backcountry Montana and a big fan of the JJJ Wilderness Ranch and its owners Ernie and Kim Barker. Cornwell, now 53, first brought his wife Kitty and two daughters to spend a week at the Barkers’ dude ranch in 1990. “I wanted to give my family a western dude ranch experience, and did a lot of research,” he recalled. “It was in beautiful country and they provided an option in which my daughters could either participate with us in family horse trips or take separate, shorter kids’ trips. Our daughters loved it.” Read Full Story

  • Outfitting business: Dude ranch is a year round job

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    From The Great Falls Tribune March 6, 2017 Each year from June to late November Ernie and Kim Barker managing pack trips, arrange meals and dude ranch activities and serve customers’ needs and oversee staff at the scenic JJJ Wilderness Ranch west of Augusta. They hire and train seasonal employees in May and run both weekly dude ranch activities and regular horse pack trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness – two complementary roles with overlapping schedules that are particularly busy from mid-June to early September. There are no days off for the Barkers, who plan and manage activities and pitch in as cooks, horse wranglers, fishing guides or a variety of other tasks as needed. Read the Full Story

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