The Christian Science Monitor

Why cattle and ecotourism combine on one Nebraska ranch

Ecotourism entrepreneur Sarah Sortum, with Calamus Outfitters, walks through a "blowout," created by nature and the wind, on her family farm, Switzer Ranch, in Burwell, Nebraska. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

With the skill of a safari driver, Sarah Sortum eases her modified Jeep over a rut and bumps to the top of a ridge. Directly in front of her is what looks like a breached sand dune, more at home on an ocean coast than here in the rolling green pastures of central Nebraska. The left half of the knob still has its prairie grass on top, but the right half is completely missing.

“This is a blowout,” says Ms. Sortum. “Wind will just get hold of the sand and blow it out.”

Blowouts were a nuisance when her family was only raising cattle on this 2,000-plus acre spread outside Burwell. Now that the ranch has diversified into ecotourism, they’re suddenly valuable – a feature to show off to tourists and also a place for lizards and kangaroo rats to burrow, making the local wildlife even more diverse, tourist-friendly, and sustainable.

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Centres d'intérêt associés

Plus de The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor4 min de lecture
From Ella To Beyoncé: New Museum Celebrates African American Music
The new National Museum of African American Music chronicles the rise of Black musicians and their influence on American culture.
The Christian Science Monitor2 min de lecturePolitics
How Young Africans Find Liberation
When Africans began to shake off colonial rule six decades ago and formed independent states, new leaders used their roles in the liberation to justify their hold on power. Now a new generation of Africans has flipped the script. They want liberation
The Christian Science Monitor4 min de lecture
Points Of Progress: FIFA Guarantees Maternity Leave, And More
In good news this week: The world's largest soccer organization ensures female players will receive maternity leave – plus more positive headlines.