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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, June 16, 2010 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Ecotourism: A sustainable development option for Plumas County? WHERE I STAND Ecotourism's global impor- ty were a Third World coun- place. Thus, it holds the po- many. Yet tourism, despite tions concerned with envi- ............................................................................................................ tance was signaled by United try, ecotourism developers tential to deliver substantial occasional setbacks, has ex- ronmental protection strug- DR. ROB FLETCHER Nations' declaration of 2002 would be all over it. amounts of income with rela- perienced steady growth for gle to finance their much- ASSISTANT PROF ESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT. as The International Year of Ecotourism has a number tively little cost. Indeed, one the last half century, and this needed work. At the same PEAC E AND SEC URITY,Ecotourism. emphasizing of characteristics that seem of the most fascinating is expected to continue into time, I was awed by the in- UNIVERSITY FOR PEACE "the need for international to make it ideally suited for things about the industry is the foreseeable future, reach- credible natural beauty of cooperation in promotingplaces just like Plumas, rural that ecotourists will often ing 1.6 billion annual travel- Plumas County, the vastness After living in Quincy for tourism within the frame- areas with high levels of un- pay more for less, accepting ers by 2020. (Recent signs in- of its open spaces and the several years while teaching work of sustainable develop- der- and unemployment and primitive accommodations,dicate that the indUstry is striking lack of local efforts anthropology and sociology ment." There are few coun- lots of unoccupied open simple food, even physical well on its way towards re- to harness these resources' at Feather River College, I've tries on earth that have not space. As the definition cited discomfort an integral covering from the currenttourism potential. been in Costa Rica for the yet officially incorporated above makes clear, eco- part of their experience,economic crisis already.)In the time since my depar- past two years, where I teach ecotourism promotion into tourism is intended to fulfill Of course, tourism devel-While much ecotourism ture, I've heard secondhand environmental studies at the their national development two complementary roles opment is not without itstakes place overseas, in less- how such struggles have on- United Nations-mandated plans, provide income for local peo- downside, including the fre- developed countries like Cos- ly intensified with the wors- University for Peace. Much Costa Rica has been partic- ple and funding for biodiver- quent spread of social prob- ta Rica, the United States has ening economic crisis. I've of my research, among other ularly effective in harness- sity preservation--making it lems such as crime, corrup- long been at the forefront of read about the small-log issues, has been on the use of ing ecotourism's potential to a prime vehicle for sustain- . tion, prostitution, delinquen- the industry as well. And as mill's temporary closure and ecotourism as a sustainable finance sustainable develop- able development in places cy, as well as increasing an- climate change becomes anthe ripples this produced development strategy, ment. (One expert calls the with few other options to fos- noyance on the part of local increasing concern, the fact throughout the community, Defined by the Internation- country "ecotourism's poster ter industries that do not de- residents with rising hum- that international eco- as the lumber industry strug- al Ecotouris.m Society as "re- child," and it has been la- grade the environment upon bers of gawking tourists in tourism relies on fossil-fuel- gles to adapt to changes in sponsible travel to natural beled the world's number- which they depend, their midst--and despite its intensive jet liners is becom- the housing market and an areas that conserves the en- one ecotourism destination Eeotourism generally tar- many merits; ecotourism can ing harder to ignore. As a re- ever-dwindling timber sup- vironment and sustains the in several internationalgets rural areas in particu- contribute to such problems, suit, more and more eco-con- ply. A concerted program of well-being of local people," rankings.) Tourism as a lar, since these are precisely Yet unlike conventional scious travelers are choosing ecotourism development ecotourism has, for the past whole is the country's second the places ecotourists most tourism, ecotourism by na- to minimize the distance might be one important corn- several decades, been in-most important source of in- want to see. Also, ecotourism ture attracts fewer tourists, they travel and opt for vaca- ponent of a *'new green deal" creasingly promoted by in- come, with over 2 million for- emphasizes small businesses and fewer tourists means lions closer to home, a trend for Plumas County, a means ternational aid institutions, eign visitors arriving each and local ownership, mini- less impact, so a carefully so prominent in the US these to bring in vital streams of national governments, non- year (in a nation with only 4 mizing the "leakage" (flow of planned program of limited days that it has been labeled income and funds needed for governmental organizations, million inhabitants), and the most revenue out of the area) growth can minimize many the "staycation" movement, conservation work as well. private businesses, scientific majority of these come to ex- plaguing many conventional of the negative consequences A short drive to Plumas It's an option, at least, that researchers and many others perience the country's abun- tourism destinations, conventional tourism devel- County, then, may become deserves serious considera- as an opportunity for sus- dant natural resources, from As a result, the industry opment tends tc entail, more and more appealing to tion. tainable development in verdant rainforests, to should have a strong multi- Achieving this.requires con- ecotourists from Sacramento A former Quincy resident, communities throughout the rugged volcanoes, to plier effect, stimulating the certed coordination, howev- and the Bay Area than a 13- Rob Fletcher now teaches en- world, sparkling beaches, regional economy by put-er, among all of the variot/s hour plane flight to Patago- vironmental studies at the Tourism in general is ar-Ecotourism is pervasive chasing local products and stakeholders involved in the nia. United Nations-mandated guably the largest industry throughout the country, en- services and thus spreading industry, including govern- In' my time living in Quin- University for Peace in Costa in the world right now (in compassing $350-per-night income around. In addition, ment agencies of all levels, ,cy, I was keenly aware of the Rica. He researches and 2008, the World Tourism Or- luxury resorts where clients , the industry's growth is sup- non-profits, business owners high rates of unemployment writes extensively on eco- ganization recorded 922 rail- receive massages and prac- posed to be self-limiting, and other community mem- in the county. I watched tourism and other natural re- lion international travelers tice yoga in pampered seclu- since ecotourists seek rela- bers affected both directly many of my friends and source management strate- generating $944 billion in sion, budget hostels in rural lively undeveloped areas and and indirectly, neighbors struggle to bring gies. If you would like to con- revenue), and ecotourism is farming communities to will stop coming ff too much In addition, there are dan- in the sustainable incometinue the conversation started the fastest growing segment which guests must be hauled growth occurs, gets in relying too heavily on necessary to stay in the place in this article, Fletcher will of the industry, comprising by tractor, and virtually Finally, as opposed to most an industry that can fluctu- they loved. I watched numer- facilitate a presentation and at least 20 percent of the total everything in between. And other industries, which ate dramatically in response ous others reluctantly leave discussion concerning future global tourism market andthroughout my time in Costa make their money by ex- to changing consumer de- the area because they could eeotourism development in growing 30 percent per year Rica, witnessing this profu- tracting natural resources, mand, so ecotourism should find no way to make ends Plumas County at the Quincy (versus 4 percent for the in- sion, I've been possessed by ecotourism generates rev- be considered only one devel- meet here. I saw the Forest Public Library on Thursday, dustry as a whole), this thought: IfPlumas Coun- enue by leaving resources in opment strategy among Service and other organiza- June 24,from 5:30-7.'30p. m. LETTERS EDITOR 2~ j.gG Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an ad- dress and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month re- garding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anony- mous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter ~n excess of 300 words.The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m {Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be tak- en to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed at mail@plumasnews.com Hmm "Freedom loving liberal?" Hmm, "My hypocrisy knows no bounds." Jason McIntyre Taylorsville Cap the tax With the recent revelation that Plumas District Hospi- tal is having major financial problems, it cements the fact that now is not the time to build a new hospital. There .is the distinct possibility that we could end up like Greenville and Loyalton, paying taxes for a hospital that is closed. How can PDH get out of this financial mess? Increase revenues? Build a new hos- pital and they will come? I think not! An aging popula- tion means more people on Medicare which also means less revenue. Where will that revenue stream come from? An increased popula- tion in the district? Not pro- jected! The Save Our Hospital (that hasn't been built yet) group wants a new hospital at an unknown cost, unlimit- ed cost and a much higher cost than the estimate of Measure A. Why on earth would you want to expand your business when you are in financial trouble? This puts an unfair burden on the property owners of the dis- trict who may be on the fi- nancial hook for many years, getting nothing for their money. The $50 per $100,000 of as- sessed valuation will help modernize the existing hospital and not overtax the Uses of hate bi~," I was startled to read property owners. Conservatives have tradi-that "Plumas County voters Cap the tax. Vote yes on tionally used hate as a made an honest man out of MeasureB. means for arriving at their Greg Hagwood..." By some MartyBrutlagends. They referred to Pres - remote and misguided Quincy dent Roosevelt as "that chance, did you perhaps man," a term that drips with think you were being funny? Hope and vision hate. I have seen the same If not, the only other possi- Thank you for printing the term used in reference tobility is that you actually do schedule of graduations in President Obama in Face- think that the Board of Su- Indian Valley; however, the book. pervisors appointing some- editors missed one school! Hate canbe xenophobic. I one to fill a vacant position Taylorsville School House have been witness to dozens is not legitimate. Either also had its graduation cere- of complaints against immi- way, this reflects very badly mony as well as presenta- grants who do not look like upon you and, by extension, tions of their school play and Madison Avenue's stereotyp- upon the newspaper. I think science projects Wednesday, iCal American and oh, you owe Mr. Hagwood and June 9. horror of horrors speak the Board of Supervisors an Taylorsville School House another language on Ameri- apology. is a beautiful place to learn can soil. Ruth Jackson where children are encour- By the way, go abroad andQuincy aged to work at their level of see how many long-term vis- ability and challenged to go iting Americans are speak- Half-truths beyond grade level when ap- ing the language of the coun- The primary is over, and propriate. TSH providestry in which they are living, now we face another election much-needed choice for pre Arizona's new law againstof very great importance for K-8 education in Indian Val- its own citizens as well as Quincy and the surrounding ley. My children have been people who might not be area. "Measure B," to be de- attending happily for three therelegally was not enacted cided by mail-in ballots dur- years now concentrating on out of love. ing August, will determine strong, well-rounded con- The irony is that the whether we Save Our Hospi- tent, skill, strict discipline American farmer (Republi-tal or let it die. Vote "yes" to and fun! cans almost to the man), the let it die. Vote "no" to save I read and viewed with rich house owner and the it. pride the story and photos of owners of tucked-away It looks to me like the Plumas Charter School'ssweatshops encourage aliens "yes" campaign for Measure graduation. Two of my for- because aliens are a source B will be based entirely on mer Feather River College of cheap labor. If the greedy anger at taxes, anger at past students were among thewould not hire them, aliens mistakes and propaganda graduates. I think it's such a probably would not take the based on half truths that are great idea to have the college risk of crossing the border, actually untruths. For exam- and charter school he coop- Perhaps, if we were realis- ple, the sponsors of Measure erative in this manner,tic and accepted their pres- B will try to scare you with Jasper Murphy and Hannah ence, they might not be too words like "unlimited tax- Hill were two of the most loathe to declare their Con- es," and they will quote from hardworking and interesting servative-paid wages and the bond documents them- and motivated students I've thereby pay their share of selves to "prove" their point. ever had at the college! taxes. In fact, any competent at- Thank you, Plumas Charter, Conservatives do not havetorney or bond expert can for providing the college a monopoly on hate and tell you that unliinited tax with such gems! I wish them xenophobia, but I-believeauthority is a standard part both continued success in that they are more likely to of such documents, to assure whatever they choose to un- hate than liberals are. After bond buyers that payments dertake, all, it is partially the fact are guaranteed tobe made. What a wonderful last is- that liberals are open-mind- Truth is, Measure A ira- sue of thepaper! Fullofhope ed, openhearted, generousposes three very definite and vision! Glad you includ- and hccepting that the con- "limits" on how much tax ed such a great quote from servatives hate us. money can be collected: the remarkably talented Ni- I would much rather be a 1. The total amount bor- zonhi O'Connell as well. In "bleeding-heart" loving lib- rowed is limited to $17.5 mil- line with what she was say- eral than a "hide-bound" lion. ing, it really is quite amaz- hating conservative, 2. Use of the borrowed ing what quality education wouldn't most of you? money is limited to building can look like when we let go Salvatore Catalano a new hospital and making of "how it's always been Taylorsville other facilityimprovements. done" and take a risk on 3. Use of the tax money is what might be possible.Funny? limited to paying principal Margaret Elysia Garcia In last week's paper, under and interest, nothing else. Taylorsville the headline "Hagwood wins The sponsors of Measure B don't mention those facts, probably because the whole truth doesn't make very good propaganda. A grassroots "Save Our Hospital" committee has submitted ballot arguments, and during the campaign will bring to light other facts that I trust will make un- comfortable reading for the sponsors of MeaSure B. We can't let them kill our hospi- tal, so you'll be seeing us in the newspaper, at the shop- ping centers and wherever we can find voters who might be interested in facts instead of devious half- truths. Vote NO on B. George Terhune Member of the Save Our Hospital committee Quincy IQ Test In the June 8 statewide vote, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company adminis- tered to the entire California electorate a simple, but ef- fective, intelligence test in the guise of Proposition 16. The state voters earned a C- by barely defeating Prop 16 by a 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent margin. Y01o County earned the top (on the curve) grade of A by defeating Prop 16 by a 66.3 percent to 33.7 percent margin. Plumas County earned, at best, a D- by supporting Prop 16 by a 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent margin. San Bernardino County, which has no direct exposure to PG&E, got the bottom grade ofF by sup- porting Prop 16 by a 60.6 per- cent to 39.4 percent margin. These results may explain the perhaps apocryphal old news report from the Yolo County media: "Yesterday the Yolo County idiot moved to Plumas County, thus sig- nificantly raising the aver- age IQ in both counties." Thank you, Pacific Gas and Electric, for the enlight- ening experiment. Bill Mainland Portola i Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530)283-6170; FAX: (530) 2&3-6288; E-Mail: pcbsCakx)untyofplumas.com Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202456-246!. E-mail: whitehouse.gov / contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein ([3), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "feinstein.senate.gov." U.$[ SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg,, Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcdintck'huse'gv" District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Bay; CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; OR: State i Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office~ 2094 E. Main St., Quincy, 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. ;~ STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capital, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, PAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. gov.ca.gov/interact# contact ;,.: