is part of our culture and is often our chief connection to our natural
surroundings. A landscape is like a canoe. It can hold only so many
people before it sinks. So how can tourism be a part of a working
landscape? To find an answer, the problems associated with tourism
must be explored. Let's look at how tourism affects a landscapes
economic potential, ecological makeup, and social needs.
Tourism can benefit a community financially. It provides business
opportunities and jobs (camp grounds, hotels, restaurants, gas stations).
Some of the money generated from tourism is used for environmental
maintenance; however, maintenance of a landscape that attracts tourists
can be expensive because it involves cleaning up after the visitors.
That means dealing with air and water pollution, repairing animal
, and monitoring .
can devastate the ecology of a landscape. There is a broad range
of problems. First, consider why landscapes are tourist attractions.
Some landscapes are scenic and special because people haven't interacted
with them. Tourism brings human interaction, which may bring some
negatives. Trash, disrupting animal habitats, feeding wild animals,
and unattended campfires leading to forest fires are some of these
negatives. Also, some scenic land must be sacrificed for roads,
parking lots, and often billboards. Oil, gas run off roads and parking
lots onto the land and into our water. Other vehicles, boats and
buse, pose the same threats.
fulfills a social need to connect to nature. People enjoy a number
of recreational activities. Some tourists hunt, fish, play sports,
snowboard, surf, or ski. Jetskis, snowmobiles, and speedboats are
also popular. Some people find shopping a social experience. There
are others who prefer a more passive appreciation of nature, sometimes
called . Ecotourists try not to disturb naturejust
observe it through camping, biking, hiking, photography, and bird
watching. Whatever the way people choose to enjoy a landscape, the
social experience may just promote enough interest in a landscape
that people will be committed to solving some of the ecological
problems caused by tourism.
lets people make a living and fulfill our social need to connect
with nature. But tourism can also have a hefty toll on a landscapes
ecology. The decisions we make about solving and avoiding environmental
problems will determine whether tourism and landscapes share a working
relationship. Attention to these problems will help to strike a
balance between the economic, ecological, and social aspects that
lead to a working landscape.
do you think?
How should tourism be part of a working landscape?
in the Loess Hills
thousands of years before European settlement, prairie covered 80%
of Iowa. This prairie provided habitat for 250-300 species. Today
only 0.1% of the state's original 28.6 million acres is estimated
to remain prairie.
the Loess Hills Become a National Park?
you ever visited a national parkmaybe the Grand Canyon or
Mammoth Caves? These publicly owned areas are certainly unique and
in Branson, Missouri
Ozark Mountains are some of the oldest in North America. They are
located in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Branson is a
small town in Missouri's Ozarks. Only 6,050 people call it home,
but almost 7 million people visit each year! Why?
NewsHour Online Links
River National Forest, located in central Colorado, is used by over
12 million visitors a day. And by 2020, it may see 20 million visitors
per day. A
new plan on land use is being looked at by the Forest Service.
It would limit motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, and skiing developments.
Some people are happy with the plan. Others are just plain mad.
In the southeast
United States, states like Tennessee are having
issues with logging. Some loggers have switched from selective
loggingcutting down the largest and most valuable treesto
clear cutting entire areas. Here what outdoor enthusiasts, property
owners, loggers, and local politicians have to say about it.
Grand River, once a river of recreation and picnics, is now clogged
by five logjams and trash (tires, plastic, appliances). The farmland
alongside the river floods every year. It seems like everyone's
hands are tied and no
one can doing anything about it.
This park sits in the Loess Hills. Check out what there is to do
at Waubonsie State Park and view a
National Scenic Byways Program
Under the National Scenic Byways Program, the U.S. Secretary of
Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways
or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic,
natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. There are 72 such designated
byways in 32 states. The Loess Hills Scenic Byway is one of two
Hills Hospitality Association
This group promotes tourism in the Loess Hills. They offer bus tours,
suggestions of places to visit, and a history of the area.
Pollution Prevention and Environmental Impact Reduction Checklist
for Recreation and Tourism. This site looks at how tourism and recreation
affect the environment.
Live (The Oregonian)
"Watercraft pollution may lead to new rules" is an article
about the polluting power of two-cycle engines. These types of engines
are found in many lawn mowers, personal watercraft (jetskis), and
Tourism Organization (WTO)
The WTO is a global tourism organization that has proclaimed 2002
the International Year of Ecotourism. Search this site for a global
perspective of what ecotourism is all about.