Here are some editorial opinions from around the country:
Wildlife tourism can give something back
From the May 12th Jackson Hole News & Guides
Wyoming values its wildlife.
Some appreciate the opportunity to hunt game to support their families. Others cherish the chance to see a grizzly fill its belly with the meat of a moose or bison that did not survive the winter.
Preserving wildlife for either option requires resources. We are therefore pleased that the so-called “Hook and Bullet Crowd” and the “Bug and Bunny People” are joining forces for the benefit of the animal world. This second moniker is one that our beloved Far Afield columnist Bert Raynes, who we lost this year, noted to describe wildlife watchers like him.
Conservationists who love to observe wildlife in their natural habitat have long sought ways to help conserve these species.
Wildlife tourism is a lucrative Jackson Hole business, attracting visitors, booking hotels, dining, buying souvenirs, and otherwise supporting the local and state economies.
Now the owner and founder of EcoTour Adventures, Taylor Phillips, is launching a new initiative he designed to get more money from the watchers to the wildlife.
The initiative, called Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow, allows businesses and their customers to donate a dollar amount or a set percentage of their income to specific projects such as the proposed wildlife underpasses along Highway 189 near Dry Piney Creek, north of La Barge. A new foundation that works with Game and Fish, the WYldlife Fund, acts as an intermediary and makes the contributions count as charitable donations.
Phillips pitched to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, which met in Jackson last month, on how this initiative is driving private companies to invest directly in wildlife. Commissioners experienced what visitors see as they watched wild wolves on a bench above the Snake River.
Game and Fish is so far open to the idea of enabling wildlife tourists, through the businesses they run, to support the wildlife and landscapes they enjoy while on vacation in Wyoming.
Let’s keep the momentum going. We encourage more companies to think about how wildlife benefits their bottom line and decide what to reinvest in our future of conservation.