The Best-case Nebraska Economy of the Future Depends on Highly Productive Individuals, Not Corporate Headquarters or a Smokestack Industry
We are extremely grateful to Dr. Richard Edwards for his leadership in the founding of the Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition. Moreover, it would not have been possible to publish Natural Treasures of the Great Plains: An Ecological Perspective, a new collection of twenty-six essays originally published in this paper, without his generous financial support. It seems appropriate to reprint our ecotourism essay from the inaugural July 2007 issue of Prairie Fire. Our support and participation in the 2007 economic study (the Niemi Report) calculating the benefits of a focused effort to promote and support ecotourism was one of the themes for our launch eight years ago. In many ways, Natural Treasures is a commemoration of our eight-year journey repeatedly sounding the theme of the many benefits of a strong ecotourism industry, through the trained eyes of our talented essayists. A review of the book will appear in a future issue of Prairie Fire.
Joe Hill—early twentieth-century labor organizer and martyr—said it best: Don’t mourn—organize.
By now, everyone knows that the population of most of rural America has declined precipitously over the past few decades, almost entirely due to declining farm income.