Sierra Nevada geotourism project gets grant; locals encouraged to participate |

Sierra Nevada geotourism project gets grant; locals encouraged to participate

Sun File PhotoThe Sierra program is starting in what's being called the Yosemite Gateway Region, before moving closer, to the Tahoe/Central Sierra region.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; A National Scenic Byways grant is giving the Sierra Nevada Geotourism project a shot in the arm to further the new tool’s momentum.

The National Geographic Society is creating geotourism maps all around the world as tourism information hubs, and the Sierra Nevada is the latest region to enter the project. With the Sierra Business Council spearheading the effort, the National Scenic Byways grant gives $205,000 to the project, starting in the Yosemite region.

and#8220;(The grant) will be covering the technological backbone of the program, outreach, nominations and development tools,and#8221; said Steve Frisch, president of the Sierra Business Council.

The interactive maps highlight cultural, recreational, ecological and other points of interest based around an area’s character, which allow prospective visitors to not only figure out what to do and where to go, but to connect them to the region and its issues, Frisch said.

For the Sierra, the program is starting in what’s being called the Yosemite Gateway Region, where people have nominated more than 1,000 points of interest, Frisch said.

Next, Frisch said the program moves to the Tahoe/Central Sierra region, starting in January or February, looking for nominations, and probably having a working map up in the spring of 2010.

One benefit of the National Geographic maps is the trackable, quantifiable results, Frisch said.

and#8220;One of the most important aspects is the ability to measure the success of your outreach,and#8221; said Frisch, adding that recent adopters in the Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park seem to be seeing positive results.

and#8220;Their metrics on web traffic and click-throughs to local assets is growing steadily and impressively,and#8221; he said. and#8220;The jury is still out but the preliminary metrics look really, really good.and#8221;

Sierra Business Council and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy are looking for nominations from history buffs, adventurers, backpackers, foodies, birders, sightseers and anyone else who has a favorite place to promote.

To learn more about the geotourism project and to nominate areas of interest throughout the Sierra Nevada, go to

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