The Nature Conservancy's 56,000-acre Niobrara Valley Preserve was named one of the Top 50 Ecotourism Sites in the Great Plains.
This selection was made as a result of a survey of 51 naturalists conducted by the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies. In the two-phase survey, they asked experts to rank which sites they considered to be the "top" sites, meaning those sites "you consider to offer the best, most powerful environmental experience and/or are the ones that are ecologically the most important. These are the places you would definitely recommend to your best friends to visit."
Richard Edwards, director of the center, described ecotourism as important because it generates critical revenue for funding conservation initiatives, increases public awareness of and support for conservation, and helps nearby human communities to thrive economically. Edwards said, "All three are crucial to sustained and healthy conservation in the Great Plains. Ecotourism offers some of the most magical and inspiring moments of the human experience."
To read the full list of 50 sites and to find out how to obtain a map free of charge, click here.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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