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Governor appoints 5 to first state parks board

By Associated Press
Published On: Aug 09 2013 02:53:58 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 09 2013 03:20:52 PM MDT
HELENA, Mont. -

Gov. Steve Bullock has named the five commissioners of the new Montana State Parks & Recreation Board.
The Legislature earlier this year passed a bill creating the board. It will oversee state recreation spots previously managed by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission.
Supporters of the change say the parks in the past have been overshadowed by the wildlife and hunting issues that dominate the other board's agenda.
Bullock named the commissioners Friday: Mary Sexton of Choteau, Diane Conradi of Whitefish, Jeff Welch of Livingston, Douglas Smith of Dagmar and Tom Towe of Billings.
Towe will be the board's chairman.
State officials say 2 million people visit Montana's 54 state parks each year and generate roughly $300 million for the economies of nearby communities.