Great Plains Center produces map of 50 top ecotourism sites in Great Plains

Released on 10/29/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., October 29th, 2012 —

            Following up on an earlier announcement of the top 10 ecotourism sites in the Great Plains, the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies has published a map featuring the top 50 ecotourism sites in eight states.

            Richard Edwards, director of the center, said the map was an outcome of the earlier study, in which naturalists identified 50 top sites. He describes ecotourism as important because it generates revenues critical for funding conservation initiatives, increases public awareness of and support for conservation, and helps nearby human communities to thrive economically. Edwards said, "All three are crucial to sustained and healthy conservation in the Great Plains. Ecotourism offers some of the most magical and inspiring moments of the human experience."

            "The Top 50 Ecotourism Sites in the Great Plains" map is being distributed free of charge through the center. For information or to obtain a map, email

            The 50 sites listed by state:

            Kansas: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve; Konza Prairie Natural Area; Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area; Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge; Quivira National Wildlife Refuge; Cimarron National Grassland; Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge.

            Montana: Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge; American Prairie Reserve; Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument; Pine Butte Swamp Preserve; Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge; Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area; Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

            Nebraska: Rowe Sanctuary/Crane Trust; Switzer Ranch and Nature Reserve; Fort Robinson State Park; Valentine National Wildlife Refuge; Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge; Niobrara Valley Preserve, the Nature Conservancy; Niobrara National Scenic River; Oglala National Grassland; Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center; Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge; Toadstool Geologic Park; Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District; Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area.

            North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park; Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge; Dakota Hills Hideaway; Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge; Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

            Oklahoma: Tallgrass Prairie Preserve; Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge; Black Kettle National Grassland; Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.

            South Dakota: Badlands National Park; Conata Basin, the Nature Conservancy; Wind Cave National Park; Custer State Park; Buffalo Gap National Grassland; Black Hills National Forest; Wild Idea Buffalo Ranch; Fort Pierre National Grassland; Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge.

            Wyoming: Devils Tower National Monument; Thunder Basin National Grassland; Padlock Ranch.

            Colorado: Pawnee National Grassland; Comanche National Grassland.

            The Center for Great Plains Studies is a four-campus, interdisciplinary, regional research and teaching program chartered in 1976 by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. For more information, contact the center at 402-472-3082 or by email, or visit its website,

Writer: Linda Ratcliffe, Publications Specialist, Center for Great Plains Studies, 402-472-3965


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