Governor Names Ecotourism Committee

(WIBW) - Gov. Sam Brownback announced a new group aimed at attracting people to the state's great outdoors.

The Governor named his Ecotourism Steering Committee during a Wednesday appearance in Wichita. The 16-member group will work with Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Secretary Robin Jennison to recommend objectives, marketing strategies and policies to boost ecotourism in Kansas.

“One of my priorities is to boost ecotourism to get Kansans outdoors and to attract visitors from around the U.S. and the world,” Brownback said. “There are many outstanding natural features in Kansas that are showcases for our state. This steering committee will help provide direction and guidance on ecotourism issues as well as recommend objectives, marketing strategies, and policies to grow this important industry in Kansas.”

Tourism is the third-largest industry in Kansas, bringing in $5.4 billion annually. Last year, the state says nearly 800,000 people participated in wildlife-watching activities in Kansas.

Ecotourism encompasses activities such as hiking, biking, camping, wildflower walks, wildlife watching, river floating or visiting some of the state's unique landscapes.

The group's first meeting is Thursday in Topeka.

Governor’s Ecotourism Steering Committee Members

Mike Beam, Topeka
Kansas Livestock Association

Joe Bisogno, Olathe
President and CEO, Techcom Worldwide, LLC

Dr. Ted Cable, Manhattan
Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University

Cris Collier, Great Bend
President and CEO, Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau

Clare Gustin, Hays
Vice President Member Services and External Affairs, Sunflower Electric

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, Hays
Fort Hays State University President

Brian Leader, Omaha, NE
Landscape Architect, National Park Service

Brad Loveless, Topeka
Westar Energy

Rob Manes, Wamego
State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Kansas

Stephanie Manes, Wamego
Ranchland Trust of Kansas

Dr. Roger Marshall, M.D., Great Bend
Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commissioner

Alan Pollom, Topeka
Vice President and Senior Conservation Specialist, The Nature Conservancy in Kansas

Mike Reynolds, Omaha, NE
Midwest Regional Director, National Park Service

Steve Sorensen, Valley Center
Conservation Vice President, Kansas Wildlife Federation

Steve Swaffer, Rossville
Kansas Farm Bureau

Chris Wilson, Manhattan
Farmer and Rancher


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