Sierra Nevada GEotourism
In partnership with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and National Geographic, Sierra Nevada Geotourism exists to help travelers experience the Sierra through the eyes of a local, learn about responsible recreation, and foster tourism-based economies in gateway communities.
The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project celebrates the Sierra Nevada’s status as a world-class destination, contributing to the economic health of the region by promoting sustainable tourism, capturing the history and heritage of the Sierra Nevada Region through an interactive website with nearly 2,000 destinations.
Sierra Nevada Geotourism and COVID-19
The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have magnified the challenges associated with recreation and tourism in the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada Geotourism has a unique opportunity to respond and balance these complex issues by increasing equitable access to the outdoors, providing education on responsible recreation and Leave No Trace principles, reducing the ecological impact of increased users, and empowering the fragile economies of recreation gateway communities. Outdoor recreation and travel offers the chance to promote experience-based, sustainable tourism to a new and growing audience. It is vital that we capture this moment for the economic well-being of off the beaten path communities, for the sustainable stewardship of our destinations, and to make equitable access to the Sierra available to all.
Sierra Business Council is actively seeking sponsorship of this program to address issues of equity and access, overcrowding, increased human impact on the environment, and other recreation impacts in tourism-dependent communities of the Sierra. To sponsor our work or get involved, contact Jill Sanford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Geotourism?
Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place’s character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well, that is, all distinctive assets of a place.
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I grew up climbing on granite slabs at Donner Summit, and the rock formations fascinated me. Everywhere I went in the mountains, I found myself mesmerized by the colors, textures, and stratigraphy lines that painted the landscapes. Having grown up in Northern California in an outdoors family, the concept of conservation was ingrained very early. “Respect the playground; if you want the beautiful places you love to remain intact, then do your part.” At that point in my life, I knew I wanted to do something that allowed me to be outside and in the field solving problems (or something to that extent). Naturally, I began my academic career pursuing a degree in geology.
This old saying perfectly describes my realization of how special the Independence Trail was for our community. Lighting struck repeatedly throughout the night on August 17th, igniting dry fuel in our foothills refuge of Nevada City and across the state of California.
Join Us In Creating A More Resilient Sierra.
To learn more about this program, contact: