Wildlife Workshop

Greater Prairie Chickens, photo by Aaron Price

Greater Prairie Chickens, photo by Aaron Price

Back in February, we posted some information about an upcoming wildlife watching workshop we were working on with our economic development partners. Good news! It’s ready to roll. We did move the date back a bit, and you can read the first of many, press releases below. Enjoy!

South Central Economic Development District, Inc.
PO Box 79; 502 East Avenue (2nd floor)
Holdrege, NE 68949

Nature and Wildlife Tourism Workshops

Holdrege, NE – Jim Mallman of Watchable Wildlife Inc. will be hosting several workshops to share insights into how individuals and businesses can build sustainable nature/wildlife tourism programs. The first workshop will be held in Red Cloud on May 18 followed by workshops in Ord on May 19 and Ogallala on May 20. Watchable Wildlife Inc. is a nonprofit working with federal, state and local wildlife and tourism professionals to help communities and wildlife prosper.

Figures generated by public agencies, private institutions and news sources are showing substantial growth in “non-game” wildlife related to recreation. Simply put, people with money want to watch birds and animals in their natural habitat. The economic influence of this area of recreation has been conservatively estimated at $46 billion in the U.S. economy alone. After all these years, what is the explanation for this explosion in wildlife viewing?

The real story seems to be hidden in an interesting shift in our culture. Understanding these reasons and defining ways to predict future growth can generate substantial benefits to rural communities with abundant access to nature.

“This is designed for businesses and individuals that have an interest in beginning or may already be involved in the area of tourism or are considering expanding into this lucrative area,” says Sharon Hueftle of the South Central Economic Development District. “Nature based tourism can be a wonderful addition to a bed and breakfast, motel, hunting enterprise or restaurant. Landowners can derive additional income without additional inputs by granting access to wildlife enthusiasts. We’re also looking for people who have knowledge about the natural environment of Nebraska who are interested in sharing that knowledge with visitors.”

Watchable Wildlife Inc. is an organization dedicated to helping communities harness and conserve this great natural resource. Come learn more about the key factors responsible for fueling the tremendous growth of this industry.

The workshops will begin at 8:30am and will run until 4:00pm with lunch and refreshments included. The registration fee is $25 before May 11th (after this date the fee increases to $40). For registration forms, please visit the Nebraska Development Network Central Region website at or if you have any questions, please contact Sharon or Jodi at (308) 995-3190.

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