National Geographicandamp;#8217;s newest online Geotourism MapGuide offers insidersandamp;#8217; look at Sierra Nevada region | SierraSun.com
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National Geographicandamp;#8217;s newest online Geotourism MapGuide offers insidersandamp;#8217; look at Sierra Nevada region

Special to the Sun

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. andamp;#8212; The wonders of Tahoe are the starting point of National Geographicandamp;#8217;s newest online Geotourism MapGuide, the latest in digital mapping loaded with interactive features for fun and custom trip planning. Unveiled Sunday, Nov. 21, the map moves far beyond Lake Tahoe to highlight the regionandamp;#8217;s unsung treasures, celebrating the world-class natural and cultural heritage of the area encompassing Reno and Carson City, the Lake Tahoe area and western Nevada and Placer counties. The MapGuide to the Tahoe Emigrant Corridor, at http://www.SierraNevadaGeotourism.org, is the second of four regions to be highlighted within the enormous Sierra Nevada. The Tahoe Emigrant Corridor map shares localsandamp;#8217; enthusiasm of one-of-a-kind bed and breakfastsandamp;#8217; in historic buildings, spectacular hikes without the crowds, historic emigrant crossings, even details on Auburnandamp;#8217;s upcoming Mandarin Orange Festival. More than 500 map point nominations were received from the regionandamp;#8217;s residents, making the MapGuide a unique resource for the millions of annual visitors as well as for locals seeking unspoiled outdoor places and authentic cultural experiences. Sponsoring the map are the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Sierra Business Council. The MapGuide also received funding from the Federal Highway Administrationandamp;#8217;s Scenic Byways Program, the United States Forest Service and the Morgan Family Foundation.Outreach for this project is being implemented in into four phase areas. The MapGuide Web site reflects the efforts of the first two phase areas, Yosemite Gateways/Byways area and Tahoe Emigrant Corridor. At the beginning of 2011, the project will solicit nominations from the Southern Sierra phase area, which includes the counties of Madera, Fresno, Kern, and Tulare. The Sierra Cascade will be the final phase area, to be implemented mid-2011.andamp;#8220;The breadth of the beauty in the Sierra Nevada is unique. Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks are incredible jewels in this 400-mile-long region,andamp;#8221; said Steven Frisch, president, Sierra Business Council. andamp;#8220;The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project is the perfect synthesis of economic outreach to culturally rich communities and respect for the planet.andamp;#8221; andamp;#8220;The Sierra is where Californians come to discover, unwind and imagine,andamp;#8221; said Sierra Nevada Conservancy Executive Officer Jim Branham. andamp;#8220;With the National Geographic Geotourism initiative, visitors will realize that there is so much more to see than they ever imagined, and they will come away from their next adventure with a better sense of connected-ness to the Sierra Nevada, its residents and its resources.andamp;#8221;National Geographic defines geotourism as andamp;#8220;tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place andamp;#8212; its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents.andamp;#8221;The online Geotourism map is living and breathing, constantly being updated. Site visitors can add comments, read what others have posted, even hit a key to connect to Facebook or Twitter accounts to advise friends instantly of what theyandamp;#8217;ve found. Itandamp;#8217;s not too late to make a nomination for the map; suggestions will be considered for possible inclusion on the WebMap or a print copy to come. Web site visitors can learn about the Wagon Train Reenactment, where they relive the journey emigrants took going from Echo Summit to the West Slope. Community involvement suggestions include Good Dirty Fun, the Truckee Trails Foundation and Truckee Donner Land Trustandamp;#8217;s trail building and maintenance volunteer program. Also featured are rustic and eclectic accommodations andamp;#8212; many too small to make a traditional guidebook andamp;#8212; like the Genoa House Bandamp;B, the original site of the first Carson City newspaper. History buffs and adventurers, backpackers and foodies, birders and sightseers can discover destinations based on recommendations from those who know best andamp;#8212; residents of the Sierra Nevada. The National Geographic Society has worked with community-based alliances to develop similar geotourism MapGuides in other regions of the world. MapGuide projects have been completed or are ongoing in Californiaandamp;#8217;s Redwood Coast, Central Cascades, Montreal, Greater Yellowstone, Crown of the Continent (Alberta, British Columbia, Montana), Guatemala, Sonora Desert (Arizona, Sonora), Peru, Baja California, Vermont and Appalachia. National Geographic has funded more than 9,200 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.andamp;#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com


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