Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cheyenne's C.J. Box writes intro for new mapguide of Yellowstone region

Any publication that features an introduction by a mystery writer demands my attention. That's why I perked up when I saw the new "Yellowstone and Beyond" mapguide from National Geographic. Cheyenne author C.J. Box, nominated this year for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, wrote the intro to the guide. It mixes a bit of first-person narrative with history and local color. I was waiting for C.J.'s protagonist, Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett, to make an appearance. Alas, he did not (you have to buy the books).

Read the intro --and download (or order) a copy of the mapguide -- at The site also features an interactive map of the region.
National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations has published an entire series of these publications devoted to Geotourism: "The kind of travel that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents."

Others have attempted to treat this area as a region that happens to span three states. But this one seems to get the job done. Travel/tourism bureaus from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho all pitched in to fund the project. Good use of taxpayer funds, I'd say, as all three states mightily depend on tourism income. Yes, we're all energy-producing states, especially Wyoming and Montana. But tourism and the extractive industries overlap geographically and politically. Just take a look at the recent vote in D.C. to protect the Wyoming range, which is part of the Yellowstone region. Both of our senators voted for protection; Rep. Cynthia Lummis did not. Rep. Lummis is rapidly becoming a member in good standing of the Republican "N-O means No" Chorus.

Sen. John Barrasso made protection of the Wyoming Range a campaign promise. So I'm glad that he came through on this issue.

So, take a look at C.J.'s National Geographic's map. Get a copy for your summer travels.

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