More on Ecotourism

The Center for Great Plains Studies’ work in this field tries to promote ecotourism as a strategy for preserving the enormous and precious biodiversity of the Great Plains grasslands. Richard Edwards, CGPS director, works jointly, in changing combinations, with Sarah Sortum of the Switzer Ranch and Nature Preserve (Burwell, NE), conservationists at the WWF Northern Great Plains Program (Bozeman, MT), Tyler Sutton of the Grassland Foundation (Lincoln, NE), and others. The work is inspired by the highly successful models of ecotourism-driven conservation developed by African and WWF personnel in Namibia and Botswana; there, high-value, low-volume ecotourism incentivizes private-landowner conservation, resulting in stable or growing species populations, thriving nearby human communities, and a deepening national consciousness of the economic and aesthetic value of their natural environment. We hope to build a similarly robust and profitable ecotourism industry in the Great Plains, producing real conservation gains, promoting rural jobs and healthy local economies, and growing public appreciation for the nature of the Great Plains.

See Ecotourism literature and projects produced by Edwards, the Center, and others.