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Plains Safaris: A Conference on Tourism and Conservation in the Great Plains is scheduled for April 18-20 in Kearney. The Nebraska Tourism Commission’s annual Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop and the Heartland Scenic Byways Annual Conference will join their conferences with this event.

This large-scale conference will bring together ranchers, business people, local leaders, community partners and conservationists, to learn how tourism can both be a business opportunity and a way to conserve nature in the Great Plains. Sessions will examine local and global models of conservation and tourism and will include several speakers from southern Africa where tourism has had stunning success in supporting conservation.

Premiere speakers include: Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer, frequent “Today Show” guest, and “The Photo Ark” author; Nils Odendaal, CEO, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia, Africa; Martha Kauffman, managing director, World Wildlife Fund’s Northern Great Plains Program; Okwa Sarefo, owner and operator, Nature Leadership, Botswana, Africa; Dan Flores, author, American Serengeti and Coyote America; Reed Robinson, Manager, Tribal Relations & Indian Affairs, National Park Service, Midwest Regional Office; Dean Jacobs, traveler, author, photographer; Dipra Jha, Director of Global Engagement, Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Management; Michael Forsberg, conservation photographer; Ben Dumas and Chuck Cooper, Crane Trust; and more.

Along with a slate of impactful speakers, the conference offers hands-on opportunities to see and learn about regional ecotourism attractions during a series of pre-conference, optional field trips, and workshops. Field trips range in activity levels from an agritourism wine and food tour to prairie dog viewing to biking the prairie.

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To register, get more information and find a full schedule go to https://www.unl.edu/plains/2018-ecotourism-symposium.

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