Critical Conversations in Michigan Tourism 2022: Climate Change, Land Use and Local Government (Session 3)

December 12, 2022

Video Transcript

One out there. Hey, thank you for joining us for another critical conversation in Michigan tourism. Today's conversation is gonna be on sustainability and climate change. And we have a number of presenters for you all to get some different perspectives on this topic from the Central Upper Peninsula. My name is Brad Newman. I'm a senior extension educator and contributor to the extension tourism team. And I'm just going to get us started today. We welcome folks returning to the series and some new faces and names to Webinar Series. Today. Msu Extension is a institution that is open for all and we hope that you always feel welcome to our programs. If at anytime there is any reason that you do not feel welcome and accommodated our programs, please let any of us know about that and we will we will make the necessary changes to improve that going forward. So thank you. As I said today, we have a number of different presenters to talk about the topic of climate change and sustainability in general. We're going to first hear from Scott Jordan, who's Associate Professor of outdoor recreation, leadership and management, Northern Michigan University. And he and David crank, we'll be talking about a project in unison. Dave trunk is a municipal area resident, also retired from the National Park Service as the education outreach program manager. And Scott and Dave run a multiyear engagement with the community on a conversation of sustainable tourism practices. Looking forward to that conversation, next, we'll hear from spend Gonstead then is a planner with Marquette County. He's also the chair of the big base Stewardship Council, which is a non-profit organization in Powell township of Marquette County that is striving to balance principles of destination stewardship with economic development, particularly in the area of tourism and rounding our program out today, Andy Northrop with extension and he's going to share a community sustainability audit tool that we think will be useful for communities if they are looking to jumpstart or further make to take action on their broader community sustainability initiatives. So with that, I'm going to invite Scott Jordan to share his screen and get carried away. While Scott's doing that. We're going to try to focus questions to two between our presenters today. We're also going to leave time for Q&A at the end of today's webinar. So again, hold your questions. We'll take those when Scott and Dave have first presented their experience from unison. Okay, thanks for, thanks for having us here. And I hope everybody can see this screen that I put up a tent troubles in the past. But I've been asked to come in and talk about specifically the work that David Crockett I did in Alger County, primarily Muda, seeing as the tourism boom started and a lot of it was community engagement. And then after I finished, David's got another PowerPoint slide that he'd like to show and talk about. Thoughts based on. Findings are outcomes of what we discovered while we're doing this project. This project was funded by Michigan State Regional Economic Innovation Program and we presented that information in 2016, I believe, for them. But it all kind of was initiated on a national level when an organization called the outdoor recreation industry association began to financially assess the economic value of outdoor recreation in some of these numbers are quite debatable in defining what the outdoor recreation industry is. But we saw in about 20:14 a huge increase of nature-based tourism, outdoor recreation and tourism, people traveling to natural areas for a variety of reasons. But first, pre-COVID numbers were found that the outdoor recreation industry became an 885 billion-dollar industry. So when we're talking about billions of dollars, we think about what the federal government wants to spend on things like building a wall in Mexico, they were talking about $8 billion. So it financially, this was huge. It created 7.6 million jobs in the country, $65.3 billion of federal tax revenue, and in $59.2 billion of local tax revenues. When this came out, it was introduced from the Denver Post by John Bill Evans. And he wrote this comment that said, outdoor recreation, no longer since at the nation's economic children's table. And I liked that and posted it on Facebook. And some of my colleagues at other universities were like, Yeah, but it's not so great. Maybe in the long run, we'll, we'll see what happens in the long run. And part of that's because there's not truly a business model for nature-based tourism, sustainable outdoor recreation at this point, that gave its going to talk about that. The trends. This is just shows you the comparison of the outdoor recreation industry to other industries. It's the third floor. Yes. Sorry to interrupt. We're still seeing the editor version of PowerPoint, so maybe you're sharing a different screen. Oh sure, your title slide. Let me see here. I'm going to stop sharing, then redo it. I had this problem. And if that's not working, perhaps you can just minimize the top ribbon and click through this way. Okay. I might have to do that, but can you see that? Yeah. As you advance down the left side, I apologize for that. But these are the numbers I discussed earlier about the industry of $7.6 million or jobs created 885 billion dollar industry. So lots of money going and this is showing outdoor recreation is the third largest industry in our country. It's interesting because you think there's larger industries like everybody has a car needs car parts or pharmaceuticals, but people are spending more money on outdoor recreation than other industries. Pre-covid. Post-covid. Those numbers increased in half, sustained and maybe topped off just a little bit. Specifically in Michigan. During that same time period. In 2015, consumer spending and outdoor recreation in the state of Michigan was $18.7 billion. It created 194,000 jobs. Our state produce $5.5 billion of tax revenue. Wages in outdoor recreation and $1.4 billion in tax revenue. The state numbers are presented differently than gross domestic numbers that are better off. So the state numbers are for fishing, $2.4 billion. Hunting $2.3 billion. And forest products were $16.3 billion. And it increases of visitations to state parks. So these all kind of mark these statistics, mark this rapid increase around 2015 on this expansion of outdoor recreation, tourism visits. I wanted to bring my one area and joining a brad also does mountain biking, so I wanted to use mountain biking as specific outdoor recreation at topic of how it affects communities. And we're looking at single and 62% of all mountain bike travelers travel to a mountain biking destination at least twice a year. They each end up spending $382 per day while they're on or per trip. There's no specific data for our area, Alger County, but Karp copper Harbor had 12 counts that year of about $200,000. So when you are 200,000 people, so when you look at $382 per person and you multiply that you're getting over $75 million coming into a community. So the economy based on just mountain biking alone as an example of an aspect of outdoor recreation is really positive. County. We were looking at things and reasons why things started to increase. And some of the things we're concepts of travel infrastructure begins to get developed. One of the big deals was that the park service invested in H5, which runs from pretty much from viewers femtogram array and pave that road which made it easier for travelers to get to and travel through pictured Rocks National Lakeshore than they promised when they propose to do that, that it would increase tourism population. And it did. The media has paid a lot of attributes can be attributed to our increase in NBC and I think it was 2016 highlighted and pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as a hidden gem. And increases of visitation started. They were already increasing, but skyrocketed after that. Social media posts and blogs on media have increased. And if you'll look at advertisements for areas like vacation rental, bike owner, they highlight places like pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. These things have all contributed to increased numbers of visitors coming to an area like unicity, health and fitness. We can't ignore that more people are participating in outdoor recreation and because of health and fitness. And a part of that would be COVID base. We found that we could go outside and be healthy and not transmit as well when we go outdoors. So during COVID visitation, state parks skyrocketed. And then of course, climate change. When we look at visit, there's not 100 research. But when you look at concepts of biodiversity in northern climates like the Upper Peninsula in Minnesota, people are attracted by seeing different plants and stuff like that. Biodiversity is also good for the land and the environment itself, so it helps sustain those areas. Western tourism or outdoor recreation, traveling is kind of on a fringe of becoming decreasing because of wildland fires that are happening in those areas. People also are coming up to the Upper Peninsula to see cooler environments during the summer. And we still have snow during the winter. That is a climate change issue that needs to be addressed because we're getting less snow unless you're at home. But it is an issue and a positive issue. First gears that are coming in our area. When we started working in beautiful thing, we've found several challenges that were caused by the outdoor recreation, tourism industry. Those were challenges to infrastructure, trash pickup, having sanitary resources available in the park, food and lodging. These things have been addressed to someone to a very good point. At this point, different perspectives as one being that David and I were really able to address specifically in unison. They're still housing issues that are created. But a big challenge to the concept of a sense of place. So people who live in units seeing, want to see us certainly want to see their community a certain way when they wake up in the morning. And it's not always like that anymore. We started working on looking at music in a different way. A traditional business model is looking at some aspect of the economy and then our resource for our industry is a natural resource. This is a two-way industry and it's not been successful. So we started with our project looking at outdoor recreation, the concept of sustainable tourism models. We added the aspect of the local culture to be involved in the interaction. So we'd like to see the economy to be strong. We'd like to see local people be able to have an aspect or make money through this economy. And all three of these things have to balance out with not overexploited the natural resource that's used for outdoor recreation. Then I advance the slide wrong. But we started something called the Sustainable ecotourism organization. And we use the Costa Rica ecotourism model as the framework for our work. We identify stakeholders and utilising our stakeholders that we identified where people from the local government, we identified stakeholders from the local tourism industry. So that would be Tour owners, but also people who were capitalizing off of lodging and food resources for visitors. And then community members. When we started, they were all mad at me, each other. So we've met with each of these groups independently. And we started with doing education on what ecotourism is. And we let them know that a lot of things we were doing, They were doing already met those boundaries. They were doing a lot of sustainable things already. So they knew we were coming into beat them up. After talking with them for about eight months, we brought I think Brad maybe had done this. We brought Michigan State Extension and to do a sense of place workshop. This was the first workshop where we included all three groups together. The end of that workshop, they worked to develop a plan and draw out what they would like to see the municipal area look like and vielleicht in the future 20 years from that point in time that got groups talking to each other and not yelling at each other. After that, we would meet with groups intertwined. A lot of those people were community members and we set up subscale groups. So these groups were based on subscales of the coastal region. Ecotourism model. Things like using natural resources and natural foods. Hiring local employees, reusing things. As a result of that, rather than creating issues to complain about, they created problems and then the group started to brainstorm solutions for those things. So concepts of seeing trash on the trail ways they were able to bring leave no trace and international organization to pictured rocks and municipally to teach people in the community, to teach others about leave no trace and how to minimize impacts. They were able to get recycling to come to that community and held alternative energy workshops. And Dave will be able to talk about what's continued from them. I'm going to leave it today for our findings because he's going to touch on some of this stuff. But things that we can do now for the industry, ecotourism scale leave no trace. And I just want to highlight that in many communities were outdoor recreation is a large part of the economy. They're also the lowest paid employees. So we need to think about shifting that aspect of the sustainability model as well. So here's David. Hello. Welcome everyone. Thanks for having me. And pull up the first slide here. Scott and I spent a couple of years doing some research about sustainable tourism. We discovered that there's over 150 certification programs worldwide. However, most of those are actually just greenwashing, you know, they claimed is certified businesses that they are being sustainable is just not necessarily true in a lot of cases. The next slide, yeah, I mentioned that the organization that we created, so when we went into the community, we wanted to make sure they clearly understood that we are working towards sustainability for the outdoor recreation, the hotel, and the food service business. That serves to. The next slide. Picture of one of many, many workshops and meetings we held, mostly analogy County, but some also in Marquette. And we discovered that there's a lot of basic concerns throughout these different communities about maintaining the natural resource base, protecting it. There's also a lot of things that people are doing to create sustainable tourism businesses. Buying local foods, investing solar panels and so on. But we learned that people are really looking for some help on how to become sustainable. Which is I think a key, a key ID, keeping my next slide. While Scott and I had the happy job of touring coaster ego students, we saw firsthand the Costa Rican sustainable tourism models. Some people call it the five Eve's model, which actually is believed to be one of the best in the world. And I'd like to show you little bit about their certification process here. The next slides is going to show that they focused on three areas of tourism, the lodging, food service, and outdoor recreation. And they have 200 questions that they pose to these businesses. And it's an interesting thing that they use volunteers from different environmental organizations around the country that will go to a local business with these questions to rate the business. So it's not just greenwashing here, they're actually doing, doing the hard work of evaluating the businesses. You could see that number 11, the company identifies evaluate negative impacts caused do the operation. That means the written record. So each of these questions they get, they get points for how well they are trusting these different categories. And there's actually 28 different. This one's about conservation. The next one focuses on logic. Does the room provide opportunities for people to recycle waste? Can the participants or the users of facilities save water? Can they save energy? Does the hotel or restaurant? Resort, do the towel replacement. Note where if you don't want them washed, you do so on. The next slide covers food and beverages. Are they using local products, organic crops. Are they providing examples of local food? Do they purchase products in containers that are recyclable or large containers and so on. Next slide shows kinda basic five basic criteria that are used in these different categories. You know, recycling, conservation, alternative energy. Do they, does business contribute to the protection of local resources in somehow planting native plants around buildings, contributing to local green projects. Does the business or service purchase local foods, higher local employees to maintaining that connection with the community? Did they educate clients and their employee? It's about the sustainable practices. So they can learn about how to protect the natural and cultural resources. Next, Here's the thing. It's practices. It's the reducing use of fossil fuels, investing sustainable alternative energies and other idea. Next slide. Because it another different idea in it's locally made products, using locally made products, green cleaning products, providing a living wages opportunity for carbon offset. We stayed at a couple of places where they actually had a donation form where you could submit some money and that they would plant trees to help box that you traveled to locate. Another idea. And again, educating tourists how they can help protect natural and cultural resources. On the bottom right there you see Tracy's in unison and local restaurant very proudly displaying information about all the local firms, the support with their business. Next, other local examples, Valley spur ski area has some solar panels. Lodging, a couple of area of motels, mentioned that they do things to be Eco-friendly. How did, you know as far as turning off the heating and air conditioning and so on. Again, practicing sustainability with your clients. Next, we have oh yeah, restaurant that was in Marquette talked about a little note on their calendar about compostable to go containers or they're cleaning products are natural and recyclable and so on. And again, stressing the local food idea. So what is sustainable? Tourism? Sustainable? We all know what that means. Being able to maintain things without damage to the community, natural resources, or economy. Ecotourism know, is actually, it's a niche market of nature tourism where people actually travel to areas to see their natural wonders. And they deliberately choose to patronize businesses because of their sustainable business practices. And the research that we discovered it, this is an increasingly large number of tourists that do this myself included. And that people are actually willing to spend a little bit more money to visit an area and stay at a place that practices sustainable. Next, why pursue it? Because again, people are looking for destinations that they can find places that practices sustainable business practices. Again, people are willing to pay a little bit more. And this type of tourism actually protects the people, the natural resources, and helps with climate change initiatives. And finally, our goal was to try to come up with a model for how a certification system could work here in the Upper Peninsula. And there was a lot of support for coming up with something like this. So number one, developing a an organization that will encourage participation and the certification in outdoor recreation with servicing, lodging, and collect the fees number to have a website to now informed by the program, but training modules that how these tourism businesses can be more sustainable. Three, develop a rating system for businesses and we translate it the 200 questions from Spanish to English and have that document ready and standing by. And again, coordinating volunteers to go and rate businesses. So it's not an expense that certification organization asked to do. It can be done through volunteers. And then finally, awarding businesses with these certificates, rating them one-to-five stars. And so why is a good thing to do? Well, I think actually the businesses can get a good return on your investment was good sustainable practices. And then the next slide, it's a win-win situation for everybody. They got their certificate, they're practicing sustainability. Employees are happy. Visitors are happy to communities to happen in the environment, is happy. And it's win-win for climate change as well. So thank you. Thank you, David. Thank you, Scott. I put in the chat there. We do have a couple of minutes for some questions. If anyone has anything right now, there you go. I five. So let me just pause and see if anyone has a question about the progress and immunostaining and past experience here. We are unable to hear you. Can you hear me now? Will wonder, are you hearing me as the screen-share still a wheelchair and refine? Let's see. Can you guys see the chat? Well, they wouldn't hear that when they Yeah. I think one question had to do with how we found this statewide industry. And Andy Northrop might know more about that, but us, with his research around this date, ours was very specific to Alger County in Marquette County. We did present our work in Traverse City, seeing similar trends in popular areas that people like to visit. Then one question was as FC0 still doing things and unfortunately, we are not our grant funding has ended and we're happy to work with another organization that would like to take over. We'd be willing to share what we've learned. The model kind of is like Peace Corps is teach people to do it themselves. We have challenges, big challenges with funding and other challenges with other tasks we're doing in life. Well, thanks, Scott. Thanks, gave. Hopefully you can hear me now. We will keep some questions rolling in for you. We do plan to save some time at the end of the webinar for general Q&A. So I think at this time I'm going to invite them to bring up his slide and we'll send it over to spend with the big bay Stewardship Council. Okay. That looks great, fun. Thanks. Thank you, Brad. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak today. So a little ahead of myself already. I'm going to tell the story about big bay. And we depend on an incredible journey so far. Today, a little bit about myself, I moved to the UP in 1998. I found that the big bay pathway at 2000s to remember the NTN McCain minute trail network board. Since that time in 2002, we've developed 23 mi of non motorized trails and big day for year-round use. We've I'm also currently the chair of the parks and rec committee, although I'm getting ready to step down at any moment. And we formally founded the big case Stewardship Council in partnership with the Center for Responsible travel in 2019, in partnership with people mine. And it's been quite a journey. And of course now I'm I started in April as a planner and recreation coordinator for Marquette County. Great experience though spar one thing I forgot to mention, I got a little ahead of myself, but I wanted to make sure you all know that every picture in this slide except for one is, was captured a big bay. So you're looking for something to do this summer. You know, you have no idea what you're getting into. So I just wanted to talk about kind of my goal for today, what I really wanted to get across. I think for me, I wanted to provide a grassroots perspective that's really. You know, if you have any questions about how to implement any of these programs from nothing. I'm your guy, I can help you feel free to reach out and there's a lot of resources out there to help find the information you need. And I'm gonna be throwing a lot of information your way. All of this information at the end of the slide share, I've got some links so we can share that information as needed. The other thing was that I wanted to discuss how responsible travel can address climate change and identify the themes and principles that transcend the local, the local practices that can transcend, transcend globally. I think you'll find out that there's a lot of common themes. It's really a difference in zeros on the end. But the basic principles are very similar across the board. So then again, I wanted to just be able to share some resources with you all. So why trails and big day? This was something that I get asked a lot. Why are you doing this? Sometimes I wonder, but no. It's been quite a journey and I guess I recognized a big bay for what it wasn't originally. And that's why I moved there. And for the UP in general versus what it was. And I appreciate it all all the things that makes it special. But in big day of particular, I noticed a few things they had all the pieces. But it just lacked some level of organization or some, some economic drivers that I think we're, we're pretty easy to put together. So I thought at the time. But part of that is a big bay has a has a history of resource extraction or from logging and mining world things. And generally they don't they don't serve the vocal community. And that's something I recognized early on. I was like, well, what can we do to help the people that live here? Then the second reason why was the demographics and big payoff were primarily retired folks. And there's some there's some young families that are from the area originally. But there was a big core in the middle of young families. And it seemed like there needed to be a recalibration of sorts. Something else that isn't interesting community and the respect that I like to call the waterfront property without waterfront, we have very limited public access, but there's water everywhere. And it's an interesting aspect. But trails to act as a nice counterbalance to that in a lot of respects. It finally, access to healthy and fresh food was not existed. And frankly, it's still isn't. It's difficult to get fresh food and trails are a way to bolster that local demand. Look like on a personal level. This is, this was what was going on in my mind in 2002. And plus, I really like skiing a lot. So I thought, well, let's build a ski trip. So what happened was after about ten years of not gaining a lot of traction, trying to get people together, trying to find volunteers and funding. I realized that if you want to be successful with what I was soon coming to find out with a destination stewardship is you have to have to look at the bigger picture. And that includes being able to tell the story, provide a framework for data collection. Be able to create an opportunity for all the stakeholders in the community to understand what the goals are. So in 2019, we teamed up with crest, the Center for Responsible travel, and we formed the big bay Stewardship Council. Now, destination stewardship, we'll get to that definition in a bit. But first, I really wanted to understand what does it mean to be a good steward and really break it down. And I think some of the things that we're working on in big phase two really, really create this precedent and promote sustainability, inclusiveness, innovation, and change. And just generally work together as well as we can. So the definition, this is something that the Center for Responsible travel put together by the global sustainable tourism council. It's processed by which we'll communities, government agencies, NGOs and tourism and tourism industry take a multi-stakeholder approach to maintaining the cultural and environmental, economic, and aesthetic integrity of their country. Or town. So you know, what it really comes down to is if you take care of your place and you create a place that is fulfilling to live in. It will also be a wonderful place to visit. So big base Stewardship Council. As you can read our, our mission there, It's a lot of the themes are very similar as you'll find out as we progress through this slide. And I'm well aware that a lot, There's a lot of people on this webinar that are, well very familiar with these themes. So skip the head again. But really the key to a stewardship model is inclusiveness. And the irony there is that, that inclusiveness is what really makes it difficult. You know, you have, you have entities from all different perspectives that are coming together. And to be able to discuss and maintain some momentum moving forward. It's a task. But the key is to be able to create that openness and listen and always, always be prepared for the open to change and also differences. Some of the goals. I did it again, excuse me. Some of the goals based on our mission. And again, these are, some of, these are pretty common themes in it. And a Stewardship Council model is to enhance that sense of place. Expand, outreach and partnerships. You know, support infrastructure, provide an entrepreneurial support. Create an authentic experience which really, that is something that is tuned in and big bay for sure. Measure what matters. Data collection is a huge part of a part of what we do. Topol township story and of course secure operations. Now the highlighted pieces here I'd like you to pay attention to because we're going to move down to the global level a little bit after this. And I think you'll see a lot of similarities. And the other thing is, you know, to reach back to that idea of creating authentic experiences in the sense of place. As far as the destination, a tourism destination in my mind, when I travel, I could be at the Parthenon. And if I if I have the chance to meet someone who grew up there, have some croissant or some coffee and have a, have a 15-minute rotation and get to understand that person's perspective. That's something I'll never forget. And I think that's a core. A core ideal with stewardship is that value is in a lot of places that we don't want to expect. And we have to keep, keep that in mind that the value is has to be reconsidered. So how does destination stewardship on the local level address climate change? I mean, is it really, really possible? Well, if we're real, if we're really serious and we think about climate change, tourism by its nature isn't going to, because I'm going to solve climate change. And but what, it can be a very important tool as part of the process. It's, you know, if you think of it, it's a microcosm of what we need to do for climate change. We have to bring people together. We have to understand other perspectives and we have to create an action plan. And there's a lot of great, great things happening. But on the local level, a local destination, tourism level, there's a lot of concepts that we can apply. So on the local level, it facilitates the local discussion by being inclusive. The organization being inclusive by nature, by emphasizing empathy. Really as someone who supports a destination and organization. By really understanding the course of action, what your actions are doing, and really thinking about it. That's really important to understand everyone's perspective. And that's the case where a traveler to understand what your actions are doing. And I think that's an important He's too it also just provide a context on a local level. So by that, I mean, I guess it ties in with that that empathy piece is that if if there's a vocal desk Stewardship Council that is dealing with local issues that they can be applied on a on a broader level. So yeah, so another thing is, you know, the destination of Stewardship Council prioritizes data as we all know, data is king and it helps us serve our decisions. So this is probably the greatest gift that the Stewardship Council brings to the community of big bay. We're able to understand. We've got over eight data counters. We worked with the road commission. We collect data at wherever we can. So we know we can at least try to anticipate what's going on or look at trends. And the idea that a little town of 350 people are already cognizant of that and can make some decisions that will react to that. Some of them are by protecting certain areas, read, changing marketing that, you know, to keep overused areas from being visited. And it's just it's a really valuable tool. And you can't see the last one. I forgot what it was. Recognized. The capacity is part of the process. The last bullet it says done. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. And that's a huge part, especially in big base. We're always struggling. We have we have big dreams up there, but we have to be able to support it not only financially, but had the manpower to do it from a global perspective. With climate change, That's a huge piece. So we're going to move towards the, you know, the bigger picture a little bit. So if any of you I don't know if you're familiar with the Glasgow declaration. This is something I learned about through the Center for Responsible travel originally and they directed me to this, this was adopted in 2021. I'm just going to jump on the website quick. So can you see that? Okay. Still the part of the ships coming through. Okay. Yep. Okay. Alright. So the Glasgow declaration was adopted in 2022 or 21 rather. And I'm just going to touch on a few points here. Let me move up here. So the goal is to, within a decade cut global emissions in half from tourism and by 2050 reach zero and create an action plan right now to set that trajectory. So there's an opportunity to become a signatory. And I recommend doing that if you can. As part of that, you be part of a community that supports and takes active steps by documenting in various ways to support the effort. So here's where I really wanted to show you is this is the five shared pathways. And I think you'll find that it's very similar to some of the themes with the big base Stewardship Council. The number one measure, you know, create as much data as you can to understand what's going on. Decarbonize. I guess you could say, that the idea of focusing on non motorized trails is a way to do that and focusing on a livable, walkable community. So to regenerate the environmental, restore and protect ecosystems. And then two other things, or to collaborate, the all-inclusive and also understand capacity with finance. So I just wanted to share that and also make you aware of this declaration. It's really important piece. Alright, so I'm gonna go back to here. So this is some hope. This is, I'm not going to talk too much on this, but this is basically the business case from the Center for Responsible travel for tourism destination. So this is basically a business case for why we really want to focus on mitigating climate change. So I think some important pieces have trouble with this. Some of the things are that Scott and Dave spoke about was some seasonal changes and seasonal demand where people are seeking northern climates. And so the businesses would have to adapt, that sort of thing. Okay. This is another organization that the big base stewardship town council is in the process of being a signatory of the future of tourism coalition. And it's another opportunity to understand and connect on best practices for stewardship destinations. So some of their 13 guidelines. And you'll, again, you'll see some common themes here. But seeing the whole picture, I think it's an important one. Being all inclusive in the global community or local community. Respect the minimum standards for sustainable tourism. Be collaborative. Number 04:00, quality over quantity is something that we stress and big way a lot of we would much rather have one good cup of coffee than for bad ones. We'll just move on. Redefining economic success that I touched on that a little bit earlier. The idea of cert viewer resource to use, I know is good. These are all really important once creating that sense of place. And then number 13, and this is something that we're working on. A big bay is connecting with the businesses. They're helping them understand the value of our work and it's really starting to transition. Now, some of the community work we're doing with big bay Fall Festival. We do a dash for trash where we pick up garbage and rubbish throughout town and providing support for them to help help them with their product. Here's a few things. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this either, but these are some just from a travelers perspective. There's some things you can do. And, you know, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna go through that. I might touch on a couple of things. I think this is a big one. Make your transportation count. In respect to climate change. There is a resource here where if you do travel and you'd like to purchase some carbon offsets that you could do it through the Nature Conservancy are cool effect. I've I've looked at both of those. I haven't checked out atmosphere. But then you can choose your project. And it's really easy to do. And it's something that it should be part of. It's like adding milk to your coffee and go to offset some of that bitterness. So, you know, these are not so much climate change-related, but they're important as part of the discussion two, of inclusiveness. Of course, you know, be, be environmentally conscious. Pack it in, pack it out. We're actually a member of leave no trace with the big base Stewardship Council. We use the principles and yeah, of course, spread the word. And here's some more resources. And like I said, if you'd like any of this stuff, you can reach out to me or brand and we can get what you need. So this is one concept to the eye. I've found that this, you know, I think could be pulled into the UP in Michigan in general. This idea that an elephant is worth 76 times more alive than it is dead. This is something I got from the Center for Responsible travel to. I think it's really again, it's about re-evaluating the value. Something I talked about earlier. And I sometimes think about, we all know that the UP was cut over 100 years ago, basically clear cut and I wonder what the value would be now if we had old growth white pine across the whole UP. Thought there, I'm a huge fan of David Suzuki and I just thought I'd share this too. It's just some basic common sense practices that you can do to help consider things to consider when you're traveling. So that's that's pretty much it. I really appreciate your time. I welcome any questions. I don't know if all of the answer but I'll I'll do my best. So thanks so much, Brad. Hey, thank you. Spend I appreciate you sharing your perspectives on a variety of fronts there. Oh, maybe launch into a question here and we'll let some others, maybe rolling into the chat. Well, and he's getting ready to come on next. Is there been conversations among participants in the council and the meetings of the evaluation or scoring system. Let me kinda thinking of what Scott and Dave, we're talking about there. And you mentioned that as an important element is of course the data, but also some kind of tracking system maybe for area businesses. I wonder if any of any of that conversation has been started in the community. So we've we've definitely talked about it internally within the BBS. See, I think we're our organization is relatively new. We acquired our 501C3 in February of this year. And we're still in this space where we're really trying to show the value of our work to the businesses and create, developed that relationship. And I think, you know, after another year or two, we'll start started implementing some kind of acknowledgment of their practices. And it hasn't been defined in a lot of detail yet. But we're doing our best right now to show our support and show that it's a community effort. So alright, well, get your questions ready. And Northrop is going to share a Michigan State University Assessment Tool on sustainability in your community. And that'll be about a ten minute presentation, and then we'll have the rest of anytime that we need for some Q&A, so please get some questions ready in the chat for span and Scott and David and I believe wills also going to pop our evaluation into the chat. So Andy, it looks like you're ready. If you want to take us way here for a few minutes. You're welcome, too. Thanks. Thanks. Brad. Looks like the evaluations might want to wait a minute or two on that. Any Northrop peers. So I work very closely with Brad and will and several of the other MSU colleagues on the call here around sustainable tourism and bringing some of these ideas too, small town communities. One of the tools that we want to share today is largely been left on a shelf and derogatory way. It's just a tool that we've had in the hamper for a long time that we're now working diligently to raise awareness of it. Because I think finally, a lot of Michigan communities are ready for this, right? Hence our webinar series and some of the other state agency programs taking place, but certainly have a long way to go in terms of moving the needle here in sustainability, but it's a work in progress. So I'm going to share today this, this tool. There's actually two of them here. One is a basic version 1.0 and the other is an advanced version 2.0. These were developed simultaneously out of our school of planning, design, and construction, as you can see back in 2014. Sounds like a long time ago, but these are probably way ahead of their time when they were pulled together through some funding and partnerships. But as I said, they're here now. So I have just a few few minutes. Whoops. Sorry. That wasn't supposed to go in that order. Here. Got a backup. There we go. So I'm just going to walk through the tools themselves, hopefully relatively quickly. The basic tool is just that It's pretty basic. It was developed as a self audit. Essentially, it's tailored specifically so that anyone in the community with a basic understanding about that community can complete the audit. So really can be handed to just about any resident with a general knowledge of that community or even professional. To begin that self-assessment as to whether or not sustainability is taking off or if it's well advanced and whatnot. The basic tool is broken into five categories. There's about 15 indicators and then 22, Yes, no metrics. The categories within that assessment tool may sound complicated, but I will walk through a couple of slides of what the tool looks like. But the categories are broken down into the economy, environment, governance, community and live ability. They fear a land use expert planner or familiar with the concepts from land use. The tool itself here focuses predominantly on the built environment, which is defined in this document as everything humanly made, arranged or maintained. It allows us to look at the infrastructure around these categories that we as humans have implemented. To break that down into more simple imagery and visuals at looks something like this. These are screenshots taken directly from the basic as well as the advanced tool. This tool, as it should, really dives into the connotations of these categories that being economy, governance, community, environment, and live ability. And uses a wide range of definitions that are used global level as well as at a national level in particular. So e.g. when talking about the environment, that category is defined as preserving, enhancing the natural environment, which is essential for maintaining community sustainability, healthy ecosystems, balanced current economic needs while assuring that there'll be adequate resources to meet future needs. That's really rooted in the original definition of sustainability. Sustainability out of the Brundtland Report, which is referenced in this tool as well. So the basic tool to break it down a little bit, as you can see, I hope it's not too small there on your end, the indicators for economy are broken down by local staple industries. Maintaining local healthy businesses. There's some metrics for those and just simple yes or no questions allowing the self auditor to make comments on those relative to their community or the community where they're applying this at. Governance, looks at policy, ordinances, taxes, urban boundary systems, just gives a snapshot of those. And again, this is the basic tool. It explores community which includes culture, art, ethnicity, heritage and celebration, looks at civic engagement as well as justice and equity. So this 2014, there wasn't a whole great deal of justice and equity, right in our daily conversations as we're seeing now in the last couple of years. Another example of how this tool was perhaps a little bit ahead of its time, but certainly relevant for today. The tool then, as you would expect, looking at those five categories further, last, tubing and the environment and live ability, looking at energy and water. And then having three metrics within that category, looking at liability, which is something we can all relate to and want to see our communities livable. But looking at education, healthy lifestyles, responsible buying and consumption, and the promotion of diversity. So again, this is the basic aspect of that tool which can be really designed for anybody to use. It allows for communities to just get a baseline of where they're at. Then allows communities are the individuals taking the self-audit to aggregate their points and find out where they're at, whether they're at the bottom of the sustainability pyramid, they're more work to do, making good progress. Or if you're a Green Machine, which sure, we have a couple of few communities in the state already reach into that level, I would hope. So. This is available on the advanced tool, as you would expect, is a deeper dive. Significantly more comprehensive. According to the authors of the advanced tool and the purpose of it. It should be conducted by a professional community official. That being perhaps a community planner, zoning administrator, or perhaps a city manager, somebody that's really nestled and woven into the community that knows the intricacies of their development patterns. Over the last x number of years. I would want them to be bad. At least five would be helpful. I have some familiarity with master plans, zoning ordinances, or lack of and as I said earlier, development practices. The good thing about this tool is it requires a deeper dive into partnerships, right? So consultations with community officials, kinda like we talked, saw Scott and Dave do when they launched their efforts up in the UP engaging these organizations, doing different work. Official schools, local development organization. So if you're from Michigan, you're probably familiar with the DDA. That's our downtown development authority. Edc's are Economic Development Corporations. You could add chambers of commerce to this list, school districts, cities, villages. And the list could be certainly expanded beyond all of that. The advanced tour relies on the user to interpret each question according to their situation. So what that essentially means is these questions get very deep into the intricacies of a community. Looking specifically at governance as you look at the top here, that's this section two of the five section advanced tool. And you can see that alone has a very, very deeper dive into just governance alone has a ranking system. One-to-five. Even additional questions that are more intricate as well. Enhancing economic competitiveness. The environment want to highlight that because that's obviously central to the whole purpose of sustainability. But you can see that it dives more deeper into clean and renewable energy within the community if it exists. Regulations allowing for clean and renewable energy, solar panels, wind farms come to mind. Public assets being used as examples for clean renewable energy. So this gets beyond the scope of tourism for sure. But if communities are looking to lay the foundation of a sustainable tourism initiative, Sustainable Community, therefore, a destination like we've heard from some of the other speakers. This is a great place to get started if you just start looking to get your head around some of this, whether it's the basic tool or the advanced tool. The tool also, as expected, looks at community and the level of civic engagement that goes on or perhaps is in the process of happening, conflict resolution and mediation. So it gets, it gets quite complicated and requires certainly a lot of depth and knowledge and experience in one particular community from somebody that has had a footprint there for for quite awhile. So that's all I have. Those tools are available. There are free. We have digital versions of them. We can email them to folks and I'm sure we will win. The series is over. And I don't have anything else. I didn't know if there was going to be some engagement, but I'll just leave these questions for people and we don't necessarily have to answer them now. But if people want to put it in the chat, we're interested in knowing if there's any communities today that have conducted any sort of audit similar to this? If you have, let us know Yes. And your community name and generally interested in knowing what sustainability categories of the five. So economics, lip ability, environment, governance and community. As outlined here today, or communities prioritizing or addressing. And if you are addressing or predatory, prioritizing them, feel free to share that in the chat. And I think I came in under 10 min brands, so I'll turn it back to you. Thanks. Yeah, we're right on time. Appreciate you prompting folks with those questions. And as folks are responding there, we had an earlier question that maybe Scott and David, for starters in their research from a couple of years ago, might address, given the large number of certification programs, many disreputable, how do you still have confidence in any given program? And Scott, you I think around the phone, so let's see if that's working. Yeah. I think I'm unmuted on the phone. Can you hear me? Yes. Excellent. That's a really good question. And I have three ways to answer that. One would be that you'd have to find a reputable organization to maybe sponsor or hold a certification. In northern is toyed around with doing that as well. Other I've been with other organizations who created standards, the ropes course industry per one. And there's a couple of ways that they do that. They do that by having standards that are produced from reputable professional organizations so that people who've established themselves as professionals and specific organizations then go out and create standards. There's a democratic process to the creation of those standards. And the people who belong to those organizations adhere to those standards have also been within organization who created a standard under the supervision of an organization that is. Regard with the United States government and see the American National Institute of Standards and anti reviews the process of standard development and not the specifics of the standard. And that gives us standard leverage as well. I wouldn't trust David Scott standard without some other reputation or development observation backing it up. However, the coast and Rican model, of course, has been in existence for ten years and it's pretty highly respected. Another question. And this is maybe also something that spanking weigh in on. You guys think that the appetite readiness for more travelers and businesses to engage in more sustainable practices is significantly higher or greater than it was before the pandemic. So I'm thinking about your experience, Scott and Dave and menacing pre-pandemic. And of course, as you articulated, tourism has done nothing but increase in unison. And so in many of our communities, it is maybe the opportunity there to take some action on these kinds of community-wide programs or stewardship initiatives? I can, I can start. I know spend probably has some ideas too. We have a teacher sustainable mobility and outdoor recreation course and have come across some interesting things. And I've been part of our Travel Mart cat who's done some really interesting things. Travel market as part, would leave no trace to develop Mark Katz specific leave no trace education programs for visitors. And I think that will be very successful. The research says that visitors don't, they don't recognize impacts. The people who live in the communities that recognizes the impacts. So I think there has to be strong visitor education to see changes in this. I was in Sedona a couple of weeks ago and was amazed by the impact of crowding and the impact of non-local businesses and communities that are inundated by visitors. So I think there is not a sustainable model that's been adopted by our industry. And that's part of the issue. One point in Munich thing though, that the city is actually implementing, installing EV charging stations. So they've taken that step forward in unison. And spend any fast you might have, you're welcome to share any of those questions. Go ahead. Well, I think in big bay we've seen in regards to add additional trails and creating a more walkable community, we've seen a really great response from the local residents, which I originally wasn't expecting. You know, there was some, I guess you could call it a weirdness. But now that we have some in they understand the, the positive impact that is, that is there without influencing directly their experience, the residents experience. So I think that's been really telling from a visitor stamp 0.2. We have I would say it's not quantitative, but you are definitely noticing a change in the demographic and big bay. And it's, it's people are responding. It's really, it's really great to have a noticeable impact there. So climate and our response, of course, has both an adaptation element and mitigation. Many of the comments that you guys shared related to mitigation, right? Kind of reducing those impacts and the amount of fossil fuels contributing to the atmosphere. Adaptation, right? Keeping the tourism industry alive and well, and managing those assets that we do have so that environmental changes don't cause undue impacts to those assets. How about experiences? That adaptation element from some of our outdoor recreation assets in the central for peninsula. What are, what are some examples of that that we've seen so far? I'm not sure Brad, could you restate the question? Is it adaptation, adaptation of practices or adaptations we're seeing in the natural environment or yeah, I think to the practices of managing, maintaining those properties, those trails, those shorelines, the tourism industry. You think in the Central Upper Peninsula off on the right foot and active in some of that adaptation to maintain and protect those tourism assets? I think a clear example of yes would be that a picture is Rocks National League sort of started to institute entry fee which will stay locally in that part to help develop infant structure to make a better experience for visitors. I think a lot of what we're seeing has done to make their community more attractive and more livable for visitors and comfortable for visitors has been an adaptation. We're still seeing. I'm trying to think of a capitalistic model of tourism in our area where we are more interested in the economic value than the environmental value of things in the cultural value, which can be problematic. But I think all communities, mark cat is looking at infrastructure issues such as how, what how to direct traffic and travel through the community based on an idea of increased visitation, increased visitor numbers. And I've seen a lot more publications relating to leave no trace throughout the outdoor recreation professionals here. I can if you don't mind, I can speak to that a little bit. I guess I'll put on my market planning hat here for a moment. At the county, we are currently working on a project called the Marquette County Rec tourism network. And it's in part a response to the incredible explosion of visitation. We had a Sugarloaf Mountain. We hit an increase from 46% station 2019-2021. And previous to that, we had 36%. So there was some heads being scratched. So how do we deal with this? There's this concept of Scott was just speaking to this finding a tool that can help us. Well, let me back up one step. Well, I'll finish my thought. Sorry. Fighting IT tool that can give us the data we need to understand what's going on and also how to communicate that to all the stakeholders, recreation stakeholders, and be able to react in a unified manner to adapt and potentially redirect destinations within the county to take pressure off of the higher areas. Now I know this can be a little controversial because, you know, is it better to spread the love or keep it focused? I think it's two-fold. There's communities out there that really need the help, that wants to help. And at the county level, what we're doing in 2023 will be reaching out to every municipality, doing scoping study for each community, talking to each, each community, each township, help them understand what their priorities are. And if they want to help, we want to provide that. And once they identify what they'd like protected and what they'd like to promote, promote. We can use that information To help redirect the tourism within the county. That's the goal. And we're looking at some geo fencing technology to try and have the data. We need to be able to do this in a living as a living document, if you will. So that's one adaptation that we're hoping we can put to work. And it's gonna be an interesting journey. So I thought I'd share that. Yeah, thanks for both of those responses. Get a question in the chat about marketing. And of course, Pure Michigan and other state or regional marketing. That can be true drivers of tourism. We see that. And what kinds of, I guess, pushback or adjustments have you seen in area communities? And to try to find that balance or sustainability in practice is Dave. Dave said money for infrastructure. We did, and I had some conversations in classes, in our sustainability class with students who work in the outdoor recreation industry. And they have an interesting perspective of Pure Michigan, Pure Michigan work. It brought a lot of people here. Pure Michigan was a state campaign where that brought impacts on federal lands. So the economic transfer wasn't, it's not clean. The federal lands are stuck with the bill of decreasing in declining infrastructure while the local, local areas. So it's just kind of a reach to the students came up with the idea that if we have state programs or community programs that are going to mark it, impacts on the natural environment that there should be a way of financially reimbursing areas that are impacting by their marketing. And this is not an idea that's come up that's gone from the classroom yet. But it's interesting that students who are involved in our industry recognize that and they're not professionals who have to study these types of things. But Pure Michigan work. Another aspect that couldn't miss in my PowerPoint is that in Michigan we need to, to distribute tourism in a more equitable manner. You can go into see any Michigan and go to one gas station and then there'll be a whole lot of people there and you can drive 2 mi away and not see anybody and be a pristine stream. So one project ideas working with geography to map out tourism impacted areas, and then others and recognize other areas that we can think of. Directing impacts are directing tourism towards.