To Be a Fly on the Wall for This Discussion…

Governor John Hickenlooper is apparently going to meet with Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to discuss eco-tourism and economic development. From a Hickenlooper press release:

Gov. John Hickenlooper will meet with Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday, March 23, to discuss common efforts and issues related to eco-tourism and economic development. The three governors will meet in Wood River, Neb….

…According to statistics gathered by the Colorado Tourism Office in 2010, Colorado attracted 51.6 million visitors made up by overnight leisure travelers and day trips. Visitors to Colorado spent $14.6 billion in 2010, an 8.4 percent increase over 2009. The tourism industry supports nearly 137,000 jobs and generates $750 million in local and state tax revenues, saving every Colorado household $395 in taxes they would have otherwise paid to maintain the same services.

In addition to discussing tourism efforts, the governors will view the world-renowned migration of the sandhill cranes, a significant eco-tourism attraction in Nebraska.

This sounds absolutely thrilling. Talk about the perks of being Governor, eh?

We can understand discussing eco-tourism in Colorado, but we’d imagine the discussion starts to slow down once Nebraska and Kansas start talking. After all, only so many people will be interested in taking the family to Prairie Dog Town.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    National natural treasures that attract tourists, artists, the film industry, etc. can be forever as long as we don’t screw them up.  Let’s hope this reminds them.

  2. DenLawyer says:

    I have been to Wood River, Nebraska, a number of times, delivering ice as part of a job I had for three summers.  I can still remember the smell of the gas station/food mart/bait shop, etc. to which we delivered ice.  Enjoy the ambiance Gov. Hickenlooper.  I bet they will discuss the cfs flow in the Platte too.

  3. thiokuutoo says:

    the glorious 1200’s

    a pope’s dream

    where the sunflowers not weed is smoked

    where men are men and sheep are[edited- that is a joke about Wyoming]

    where plowing the prairie means just that

    where Democrats go to [edited – that is a joke that is about Utah]

  4. letusbereal says:

    Ask not what John Hickenlooper can do for you ask what you can do for John Hickenlooper?

    The Governor by caving in to the oil and gas industry may cost his party a few seats.  

  5. harrydoby says:

    Don’t miss it!

    But seriously, Greensburg Kansas is quite a different story.  After getting 95% wiped off the map from a Category 5 tornado in 2007, they have rebuilt their town to be completely LEED certified. CU Denver School of Architecture helped with several energy-efficient home and building designs.

    Pretty forward-thinking for a little farming community.  But then, many farmers have deep respect for the land that sustains them and the rest of us cityslickers.

  6. PERA hopeful says:

    I’ve been to Prairie Dog Town.  I have seen live rattlesnakes pet the baby pig.  I have seen the five-legged steer and the six-legged calf.  And I purchased a fine specimen of turd bird art.  It was frackin’ awesome!

    Of course, I was born and raised in Kansas.

  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    neither of these two states have the natural treasures to begin to compare to Colorado.

    But, sometimes you have to get your fat ass out of the car, and your car off the interstate, before you entirely write off any state.

    The Niobrara National Scenic River is located in north-central Nebraska, United States, approximately 300 miles (480 km) northwest of Omaha. In 1991, Congress set aside 76 miles (120 km) along two stretches of the Niobrara River for preservation under the management of the National Park Service with assistance from the local Niobrara Council. Several “outstandingly remarkable values” have been designated to be protected along the Niobrara National Scenic River, including: Fish and Wildlife, Scenery, Fossil Resources, High Water Quality, and Recreation. The river was designated by Backpacker magazine as one of the 10 best rivers for canoeing in the United States.

    Considered a superb example of a Great Plains river, the Niobrara is home to over 500 plant species many at or beyond their usual range, including many not otherwise found within several hundred miles, These species include birch, ponderosa pine and aspen (both quaking and bigtooth species). Species from six different biomes can be found in proximity here. Northern boreal forest types occur on north facing slopes where shade and abundant ground water create cooler microclimates. Species growing here include paper birch, basswood, aspen, ferns and club mosses. Rocky Mountain forest plants include ponderosa pine, serviceberry, and horizontal juniper. Eastern deciduous forests grow on the moist bottom lands and islands of the Niobrara. They include American elm, cottonwood, green ash, bur oak, hackberry and box elder. Three types of prairie are found in the river valley, displaying a botanical transition between among the eastern tallgrass prairie, the mixed grass prairie of the Sandhills, and the western shortgrass prairie. Mule deer, beaver, mink, antelope, coyote and even bison can be found in the area as well. Approximately 400 bison and a few dozen elk are protected in the 19,000 acre (77 km2) Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, which is located along the river.

    Show me another state that has a 300-mile stretch of unspoiled, natural, native, undammed river.

    Or, consider . . .

    As the largest and most intricate wetland ecosystem in the United States, the Sand Hills contain a large array of plant and animal life.[1] Minimal crop production has led to limited land fragmentation; the resulting extensive and continuous habitat for plant and animal species has largely preserved the biodiversity of the area.

    The Sand Hills are home to 314 vertebrate species including mule deer, coyotes, red fox, meadowlarks, wild turkeys, native bat species and many fish species.

    The Sand Hills’ thousands of ponds and lakes replenish the Ogallala Aquifer, which feeds creeks and rivers such as the Niobrara and Loup rivers. These bodies of water are homes for many species of fish. The lakes are mainly sandy-bottomed and provide water for the region’s cattle, as well as a habitat for aquatic species. However, some lakes in the area are alkaline and support several species of phyllopod shrimp.

    . . .

    720 different species of plants are found in the Sand Hills. Of these, the majority are native, with only 7% exotics – half the percentage of most other prairie systems. The blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) is an endangered species, found only in the Sand Hills and in similar environments in central Wyoming.  The blowout penstemon stabilizes the soil where wind erosion exposes the bare sand and creates a blowout, but is choked out when other species begin to recolonize. Grazing and land management practices used by Sand Hills ranchers have reduced erosion, thus diminishing the plant’s habitat.

    Many of the plants of the Sand Hills are sand-tolerant species from short-grass, mixed-grass and tallgrass prairies; plants from all three of these can be found within the Sand Hills ecosystem. These plants have helped to stabilize the sand dunes, creating an ecosystem beneficial for other plants and animals. Better land management and grazing practices by the ranchers of the Sand Hills have led to less erosion over time, which has kept the natural landscape of the Sand Hills mostly intact.

    . . .

    The Sand Hills are part of the central flyway for many species of migratory birds, and the region’s many bodies of water give them places to rest. The ponds and lakes of the region are lay-over points for migratory cranes, geese, and many species of ducks. Species found year-round include the Western Meadowlark, the state bird of Nebraska.

    There’s a lot about my home state that’s not for shit, but natural beauty of immense ecological significance is not one of those.  But, I guess if you’re the least bit concerned about the importance of pristine ecologies, you’d already know some, or all, of this.  And, you’d probably also realize that ecology is not just limited to sites that lie at over 10,000 feet in elevation.

    Anyone care to hear about Southeast Nebraska’s remaining unique tall grass prairies?  Anyone hear of Arbor Day; do you know it’s connection to Nebraska and the modern-day ecology movement?

    Now Kansas, that’s another story altogether . . . ever drive across I-70?  What a completely worthless state . . . personally, I don’t even consider it worth my while to waste a piss on that dry, dusty, wind-blown, featureless, god-forsaken wasteland.  

    • HorizonBk says:

      … kinda picked up a potent whiff of CO chauvinism in the tourism summit post and think Diogenesdemar dug up some strong (and lengthy) wiki-info.

      Next time you make a drive across the great plains to points-east think about all the birds moving from north to south as part of a completely different continental migration.  A NE prarie pothole to us is just another Sapp Bros truck-stop to them.

      … Bird watchers and hunters have some pretty deep pockets and kudos to these plains states for doing what they can to drum up the business.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      I know it began in Lincoln

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    with this one.

    The prairie has abundant natural beauty from the grasslands to the cranes.

    Admittedly Hickenlooper is never going to embrace a new direction like being a global renewable energy Mecca.  He doesn’t have the vision of Ritter but that said at least he is trying to promote tourism and put a smiley eco-face on it.

    Silly diss of the guv Pols.

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