wetlands ecotourism

Pat Mattson pmattson at env.mv.com
Thu Mar 23 04:44:06 EST 2000

In Manchester, NH, an 800 + acre city-owned property
which contains numerous forested wetlands is threatened
by development.  Rare, threatened or possibly endangered
plant and animal species can be found in many of the wetlands.
Some of these swamps are home to Atlantic white cedar stands,
and in the largest  AWC swamp an understory of giant rhododendrons
is present. Black gum trees, some of which are over 400 years old,
can be found in other swamps, and interesting natural communities
are also located in forested uplands on the property.

The details of the environmentalist-development struggle, as
well as photographs and descriptions of the property, are
located on my web site, "The Manchester, NH Urban Open
Space Web Site."

The URL for this web site is: http://www.mv.com/ipusers/env/

Recently certain environmental groups have floated the idea of
saving development-threatened wetlands via community-based
ecotourism.  In such programs the wetlands remain intact, attract
tourists, and both the environment and the economy of the region
are bettered.

I am uncertain if the Manchester wetlands, i.e., the "Hackett Hill"
property, would serve as a "tourist draw", and if so, if financial
profit to the city from such an undertaking would be sufficient
to compete with taxes derived from building an industrial park
on the property - the present plan of city officials.

Comments on the ecotourism notion are welcomed.

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