How does ecotourism help ranchers make the most money from their land while helping wildlife?
Nature provides grazing habitat that ranchers use to raise cattle that provide milk, meat and fertilizer. The grazing habit also supports wildlife that can serve as an additional source of meat.
Nature provides a grazing habitat that supports the survival of cattle and wildlife populations. Healthy cattle and wildlife populations enable the existence of the cattle ranching and ecotourism industries.
In this lesson, students explore the trade-offs between ranchers farming and keeping their land for cattle and ecotourism versus selling land to a large agribusiness. They consider which economic choices help ranchers make the most money from their land in both the short and long term.
Ecotourism has the potential to benefit people and wildlife. It provides direct income for ranchers and it can indirectly benefit the community through tourism-related activities such as the sale of handicrafts. Ecotourism can involve significant initial investment, however, and an ecotourism business model must account for variability in tourist visits.
For a hands on activity, students will role-play as cattle ranchers and consider traditional culture and predicted economic outcomes to determine if they will sell or keep their land. They learn how raising cattle combined with ecotourism can be an alternative economic model to the boom and bust of selling land to the highest bidder.
|Teacher's Guide PDF Companion for PowerPoint|
|PowerPoint Lesson Plan|