The Friends of the Little Belts met in Great Falls and adopted their bylaws, mission statement and elected officers. Articles of Incorporation were filed in January marking the official start-up date of the group. Officers elected at the March meeting were President, Russ Ehnes, 1st Vice President, Frank LaLiberty, 2nd Vice President Scott Davis, Directors at Large: Scott Herzog, Peter Jennings & Ron Shortridge. Secretary appointed, and not filled, Treasurer, Mona Ehnes.
Organizations joining in support of the group are Cascade County 4X4 Assocaiton, Great Falls Bicycling Club Inc, Charlie Russell Back Country Horsemen, Island Range Chapter of MWA, Great Falls Snowmobile Club and Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association.
Missions Statement: To preserve, promote, and improve responsible, sustainable access in the Little Belt Mountains area for all recreational users by protecting natural resources and improving recreation management in the area. The stated goals are to
• Bring together all recreational users and other interested stakeholders who will work together, genuinely and honestly, to achieve the goals of the organization.
• Build a strong working relationship and partnership with the managing agencies to achieve these goals.
• Improve the quality and sustainability of the recreational experiences by improving natural resource protection, maintenance, and facility design.
• Increase the financial and human resources applied to the management of the Little Belt Mountain area through:
• Volunteer development, training, and management
• Coordination and implementation of volunteer trail and facility projects
• Acquisition of funding for projects through grant acquisition, Challenge-Cost -Share agreements, and fund raising activities
• Work in cooperation with the agencies, media, and others to educate users of the area about safe, responsible recreational use of the Little Belt Mountains area.
• Work collaboratively to find common ground and make travel management recommendations to the managing agencies.
• Develop an electronic communications network for members and advisors and use the internet and social media for communications and outreach.