Posted on February 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Park visitors spent more than $15 billion last year
Visitors enjoy the scenery at Colorado National Monument. bberwyn photo
Elk along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. bberwyn photo
FRISCO — As the National Park Service nears its 100th anniversary, the parks it manages are more popular than ever. Visitation to national parks broke a long-standing record last year, with more than 292 million visits. The previous record was set in 1987.
“As the National Park Service strives to share a more inclusive and well-rounded version of the American story through the places we care for, it is gratifying to see more people than ever coming to their national parks to enjoy nature, learn about history, and spend time with their families,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. Continue reading
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Posted on November 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study examines nexus of forest, tourism policies
FRISCO — It may be Shangri-La no more if centralized government policies from Beijing continue to supplant community based management schemes for the incredibly diverse temperate forests of China’s northwest Yunnan Province.
Dartmouth scientists found in a recent study that China’s anti-logging, conservation and ecotourism policies are accelerating the loss of old-growth forests in the region, which symbolizes the tensions associated with China’s economic transformation. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, forests | Tagged: China, Environment, forests, Shangri-la, Tourism, Yunnan Province | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Invasive species a huge threat to sparse ecosystems, scientists report
Tourists on Dundee Island hike past birds and pinnipeds. bberwyn photo
Tourists hiking on Deception Island. bberwyn photo
FRISCO — The tiny ice-free fringes of Antarctica are especially prone to ecosystem disruption, including invasive species, an Australian science team warned earlier this year after taking a close look at how human use is concentrated in those slivers of dry land.
Antarctica has over 40,000 visitors a year, and more and more research facilities are being built in the continent’s tiny ice-free area. Most of the Antarctic wildlife and plants live in the ice-free areas – and this is also where people most visit.
Most tour operators in Antarctica follow strict guidelines set to protect ecosystems, including at least basic decontamination procedures, but those measures might not be enough, especially as global warming makes ice-free zones more susceptible to invasive species. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, biodiversity, Environment, global warming, tourism | Tagged: Antarctica, Antarctica protected areas, Environment, invasive species, Tourism, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study shows costs of coastal litter
Beach-goers tend to avoid dirty beaches, even it means driving farther and spending more money to find a clean spot. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO —Littered beaches are a costly economic liability in California, as beach-goers tend to avoid local beaches if they’re dirty. The economic study, funded by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, showed that having no marine debris on the beach and good water quality were the two most important factors in deciding which beach to go to.
Given the enormous popularity of beach recreation throughout the United States, the magnitude of recreational economic losses associated with marine debris has the potential to be substantial. Continue reading
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Posted on May 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
“The bottom line is that the scale of the proposed development, more than 20,000 hotel rooms, is completely disconnected from the ecology of this desert region”
The last resort? Photo by Ralph Lee Hopkins.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A proposed 20,000-room resort development in Baja California Sur threatens a high value conservation area that’s important for hundreds of plants and animals, including 42 birds recognized as endangered species under Mexican law.
Government officials are slated to make a decision on the Cabo Dorado development proposal next month, and the scientists who recently surveyed the area said there’s no way the project should be built in anywhere near its present configuration.
“Until recently, the biological value of the lands adjacent to the coral reef of Cabo Pulmo had remained a mystery,” said University of California, Riverside’s Benjamin Wilder, referring to the Cabo Pulmo reef, which has rebounded from over-fishing in recent years. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: Baja California Sur, Cabo Dorado, Cabo Pulmo, Environment, Tourism | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Government dysfunction hurts gateway towns near parks
The Grand Canyon, bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Visits to National Parks in the U.S. fell slightly in 2013, mainly due to the government shutdown in October, when the National Park Service turned away millions of visitors.
In total, 273.6 million total visits were recorded during the year at the 401 parks, down 9.1 million visits from 2012. The shutdown also resulted in an estimated loss of $414 million in visitor spending in gateway and local communities across the country when comparing October 2013 to a three-year average (October 2010-12). Continue reading
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Posted on January 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘The San Antonio Missions represents a vital part of our nation’s Latino heritage …’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — It’s been nearly 20 years since a new World Heritage site has been designated in the U.S. but that could soon change. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell last week said the San Antonio Missions, including the Alamo, will be nominated for the international list, which recognizes the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet.
The most recent U.S. addition to the World Heritage register was the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (administered jointly with Canada) in 1995.
“World Heritage Sites represent an incredible opportunity for the United States to tell the world the whole story of America and the remarkable diversity of our people and beauty of our land,” Jewell said. “The San Antonio Missions represents a vital part of our nation’s Latino heritage and the contributions of Latinos to the building of our country.” Continue reading
Filed under: tourism, Travel | Tagged: San Antonio missions, Texas, The Alamo, Tourism, Travel, World Heritage | Leave a comment »