We envision state parks that reflect Montana's renowned outdoor recreation and heritage for all... forever.

The Montana State Parks Foundation is the official nonprofit fundraising partner of Montana State Parks. Montana's unique outdoor recreation culture and spectacular natural assets deserve a park system that is world-class.Yet for years, government funding has fallen far short of delivering the high-caliber system of parks and front country recreation amenities that Montanans deserve.

The Montana State Parks Foundation helps bridge that gap. We are a 501c3 dedicated to helping Montana's state park system become one of the best in the nation through private fundraising and capacity building in areas where government funding is simply not enough.

Our Mission

The Montana State Parks Foundation raises private support to enhance the visitor experience and build advocates for Montana's state parks and recreation heritage. 

Board and more

The Montana State Parks Foundation was incorporated August 2015. We’ll be expanding our board to provide more depth and regional expertise in the near future.

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Coby Gierke
executive Director
Missoula, Montana

Four generations of descendants before Coby have found balance working and living with the incredible landscapes that make Montana the "Last Best Place". A western Montana transplant from the wide open spaces near Miles City and Glendive, Coby brings years of innovative public lands conservation experience gained through work with four National Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the Montana Conservation Corps, and several conservation non-profit organizations to his role with the Montana State Parks Foundation. 

As a strong proponent of partnership and cooperation amongst land management agencies, local businesses, and community-backed groups, Coby is working to achieve the shared potential of Montana's State Parks and communities.  

As a graduate of Portland State University, Coby has spent his entire young adult life as a professional and personal advocate of public lands and wide open spaces. You can find him on his raft, snowboard or mountain bike all across Montana often with his wife and young-at-heart pup in tow. 


Alex Tyson
Board Chair
Billings, Montana

As the Executive Director of Visit Billings, Alex deeply appreciates and understands the significance of tourism in southeast Montana and the impact parks have on the Billings’ economy.  In fact, parks are literally in her blood.  Born in Yosemite National Park, Alex also lived in other national parks including Crater Lake and Yellowstone.  One of her first jobs was scooping ice cream for visitors at the old Hamilton Store in Mammoth Hot Springs.  

Prior to her work with Visit Billings and the Billings Chamber of Commerce, Alex anchored and produced "Montana This Morning" for CBS affiliate KTVQ.  A 24-year resident of Billings, she is a graduate of MSU-Billings and has served as past president of the MSU Billings Alumni Advisory Board, as a board member of the Billings Education Foundation, MetraPark Advisory Board and Big Sky State Games along with state tourism associations including Voices of Montana Tourism.  For 24 years, Alex has proudly called Billings her home with her husband Calvin and their two children.


Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs
Board Member
Helena, Montana

Author of "The Lewis and Clark Companion" and "Why Sacagawea Deserves the Day Off," Stephenie has written numerous articles and books on Western history. As the daughter of late historian and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Stephen Ambrose, author of "Undaunted Courage"—the renowned chronicle of the Lewis and Clark Expedition—Stephenie literally grew up on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Her passion for conservation and resource preservation has led to her serving on various boards and councils including the Lewis and Clark Trust, the American Prairie Reserve and the Montana Preservation Alliance. 

Diane Conradi
Board Member
Whitefish, Montana

Diane's law practice focuses on real estate, business, water, and environmental law. She uses her wide-ranging skills to guide individuals and businesses through the complexities of residential, commercial and conservation real estate transactions. A founder of Whitefish Legacy Partners, Diane's vision helped this nonprofit conserve over 2,000 acres of public and private land and build over 30 miles of recreational trails on the outskirts of Whitefish. This $14 million, 10-year project has resulted in an internationally recognized mountain bike trail system and thousands of acres of land to roam only a few short miles from town.

Jeff Welch
Board Member
Livingston, Montana

Writer, speaker, entrepreneur, and leader, Jeff founded and built his marketing agency, MERCURYcsc into a leader in connecting brands with people who value travel, the outdoors, and a sense of place. His triple-bottom-line approach to doing business has landed MERCURYcsc in Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work for five consecutive years. He also serves on the governing board of the Montana State Parks and Recreation and the advisory board of Sustainable Travel International. He lives with his wife and two children on their small farm in Montana's Shields Valley.

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Jean Curtiss
Board Member
Seely, Montana

Jean has lived in Missoula County her whole life. She was raised in the Swan Valley, north of Seeley Lake, and graduated from Seeley-Swan High School. Jean attended the St. Patrick’s School of Nursing and the University of Montana.

Jean was elected to her first term as Missoula County Commissioner in November, 2000, and was re-elected in 2006 and 2012.  Before being elected County Commissioner, most of Jean’s professional work focused on early childhood education and advocacy. Jean has a strong sense of social justice and is pleased to stand for those without a strong voice. She continues that advocacy as a County Commissioner and serving on more than a dozen county boards.

Jean is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Montana and has held leadership positions in many organizations, including the Montana PTA and the National PTA. Jean served 4 years as the Montana PTA President and Executive Director.

Jean is married to Brad Curtiss and has three grown children, a splendid daughter-in-law, and three granddaughters. In her spare time, she likes to read, quilt, garden and spend time with family.

Lee Gault
Board Member
Bozeman, Montana

Lee’s love of the outdoors began at the age of six when his family took a cross-country camping trip to attend the World’s Fair in Seattle. He began is outdoor career leading wilderness therapy trips with delinquent youth in New Mexico. He spent 10 years as an instructor, course director and program director with the Colorado and North Carolina Outward Bound Schools between stints as a classroom teacher and counselor. For the past 23 years he worked for the Montana Conservation Corps as Regional Director and Director of Programs and Partnerships fulfilling his passion for providing conservation service experiences for youth and young adults. Lee lives in Bozeman with his wife and daughter.


About State Parks

You might think of Montana's 55 state parks as "our parks". While we are blessed to have Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and numerous other federal lands to enjoy, no other entity represents the full spectrum of the Montana experience like Montana State Parks. They are used by and designed for Montanans, by Montanans and include world-class recreation opportunities, some of our most important historic sites, and a fantastic representation of many facets of Montana culture.

Montanans agree. State parks hosted nearly 2.5 million visitors in 2015; that’s more than double the number of visitors than just a decade ago. Montanans of all ages, incomes and interests accounted for 80% of those visits—because Montana's state parks are for all of us. Parks are popular, front-country experiences that help us get outside and enjoy Montana's one-of-a-kind outdoor heritage.

For more information, visit the Montana State Parks website.

Contact Us

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Montana State Parks Foundation
400 W. Broadway Suite 101-424
Missoula, Montana 59802