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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 424

North Coast community leaders celebrate Redwood Coast Geotourism launch

Leaders in tourism, business and government met in the historic Humboldt County town of Scotia on March 11 to celebrate the launch of  the Redwood Coast Geotourism MapGuide and website.  The project resulted from a partnership of the Bureau of Land Management,  National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations and the North Coast Tourism Council.  It is one of 14 MapGuide projects worldwide.

The MapGuide at www.visitredwoodcoast.com, enables visitors to plan trips by pinpointing and learning details about everything from natural attractions to lodging and special events.  It encourages sustainable tourism choices for domestic and international visitors.

The celebration featured a full day and evening of events.

A man points out a site to a large group of people
 Frank Bacik, of the Town of Scotia, led a city tour that focused on development of Scotia as a company town and its adaptation to changing social, environmental and economic times.

Several houses in assorted pastel colors, seem to touch at the sides
A large white building with many windows trimmed in dark green, with a sign, "Medial Center"
The tour passed by blocks of simple and tidy houses and more  elaborate buildings, such as the historic Scotia Medical Center.

A couple dozen or more people stand looking at a wide beige industrial building toped with metal bins
The tour group stopped outside the historic sawmill, now operated by Humboldt Redwood Co.

After an afternoon touring the town and discussing the history of redwood logging on the North Coast, the celebration moved indoors to a celebration held at the historic Scotia Inn and Winema Theater, both built completely from redwood. 

Men and women stand under chandeliers and wood-beamed ceilings
The hotel ballroom, with its huge redwood beams, was an ideal place for a social gathering.

A man at a podium addresses a crowd of people in a large room
Rick Hanks, the BLM's California Coastal National Monument manager, was among the speakers, and was credited for his outstanding efforts building the partnership that led to development of the MapGuide.

A man speaks with a small group of people standing in a room

Above: Keynote speaker J. Michael Fay, left, spoke during a question and answer session.   In 2007-2008, Fay, National Geographic's "explorer in residence," trekked the entire range of coastal redwoods to call attention to issues surrounding conservation of the species.  The trek resulted in the cover story of the October 2009 edition of the magazine, and was featured in a National Geographic television  special.  Other speakers pictured are, from Fay's left,  Elaine Carmichael, a consultant working on a  proposal for a North Coast National Heritage Area;   Ruskin Hartley, executive director of the Save the Redwoods League; Marcia deChadenedes, partnership and outreach coordinator for the California Coastal National Monument; and Art Harwood, executive director of Redwood Forest Foundation. 

The Redwood Coast region featured in the MapGuide covers  Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, and the western part of Marin County.  "This is a showcase of what makes Northern California so  critically and beautifully significant," said James Dion, associate director of the Center for Sustainable Destinations.  "More than ever, this project underscores the importance of conserving this region's tremendous scenic and historical assets for future generations."

- Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California District, 3/16/10

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 424

Last updated: 03-18-2010