Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Climate change could cost Montana’s economy millions » Yale Climate Connections

People around the world come to Montana to enjoy big sky country.

Szollosi: “People, come here to hunt elk. They come here to fly fish. They come here to ski downhill. … It’s what makes Montana, Montana.”

Frank Szollosi is the executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation.

Outdoor recreation is an important part of Montana’s economy.

But the Wildlife Federation has released a report warning that many of these outdoor activities are threatened by climate change.

Warmer water threatens cold-water fish like trout — and could lead to more restrictions on fishing.

As winters get shorter and snowpack dwindles, fewer people may buy lift tickets to go skiing.

And more wildfires may keep people from visiting National Parks like Glacier or Yellowstone.

The report cautions that by midcentury, these changes could cause Montana to lose thousands of outdoor recreation jobs and millions of dollars each year.

So Szollosi’s group is advocating for climate action.

Szollosi: “Our organization has been around for 87 years. We’re motivated by a sense of intergenerational justice to ensure that 87 years from now things that make … Montana Montana are still here.”

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media

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