|Recreation & Tourism
Recreation and tourism are tools to conserve special places and help people gain a deeper appreciation for their relationship with themselves, other people, and the land. With the internet, it is easy to find and book the cheapest airline tickets in a matter of minutes. Some sites even offer programs to offset the carbon emissions from flights, like donating money towards a tree-planting fund.
A. Jon advises the Rainforest Biodiversity Group (formerly Friends of the Great Green Macaw) in its US Fish & Wildlife Service-funded project that established the bird route that attracts new private land owners to protect their forests within the corridor (part of Mesoamerican Biological Corridor) as well as establish Costa Rica’s first bird trail. See article in The Washington Post and Outside Magazine.
B. Subcontracted by EplerWood International, Jon advised the SEEP Network for a project funded by Argidius Foundation to promote job creation through tourism business development in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
Interpretive planner with Fermata to develop an interpretive plan for the entire 15-county Lumber Heritage Region of northcentral Pennsylvania (as well as the overlapping Pennsylvania Wilds region). Worked with the planner who developed the core exhibit of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the plan was to develop culture- and nature-based products that would attract visitors to spend more time and money purchasing local products for local economic development in this rural region. See my article on planning in the region that contains, among many sites, the home of Punxsutawney Phil, of Groundhog Day fame.
Also worked as the interpretive planner and signage writer to develop visitor programming at Quinta Mazatlan, an urban nature center in McAllen, TX, part of the World Birding Center.
I spent four years developing the Public Use Planning Program for six World Heritage Sites in Mesoamerica and Indonesia. The two parks in Indonesia (Ujung Kulon and Komodo) are still using their public use plans. See more below on my program development and my promotion of public use planning with the World Heritage Centre.top
I worked 6.5 years with Rare (formerly RARE Center for Tropical Conservation) in the development of ecotourism capacity building programs. Although I worked with a wide variety of interventions in Mesoamerica (trail building, integration of small suppliers into international markets, ecotourism promoter training), my main tasks were developing the Nature Guide Training Program and the Public Use Planning Program.
I studied adaptive management and project design with Foundations of Success and then later worked with them to evaluate The Nature Conservancys Parks in Peril Program in 2004. This program began in 1990 to increase the park management capacity in more than 45 Latin American and Caribbean protected areas in 15 countries. It is the largest conservation project in Latin America and includes a wide variety of ecotouristic activity. I personally visited Bolivia and Guatemala.top
Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, Ecuador
For my masters thesis project, I conceived, designed, recruited, fund-raised for, and led a four-person Participatory Rural Appraisal team in an indigenous farming community inside the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve in northern Ecuador in 1996. We worked to facilitate the cooperative establishment of an ecotourism program by the community, EcoCiencia (a leading conservation organization), and INEFAN (the government agency in charge of protected area management, forestry, and wildlife programs). Independent research with EcoCiencia and INEFAN. See also process facilitation.
World Heritage Centre Involvement
The Public Use Planning Program developed with funds from the World Heritage Centre. Two years after leaving Rare, I participated in a World Heritage Centre-sponsored seminar about tourism planning at major World Heritage archeological sites in February 2006. As part of this program, I have worked in Montenegro, Belize, and Vietnam.
I joined the Planeta.com advisory board in February 2004.
I served as associate editor of Legacy, the magazine of the National Association for Interpretation for a year and a half. I also made two presentations at national conventions promoting the linkages between interpretation and conservation.
June 30, 2010