Tourism pledges are all the rage these days, with countries like Palau, Iceland, and New Zealand, and destinations like Big Sur and Hawaii, all asking tourists to stop and think about the place they are visiting and the impact they may have there. It’s all an effort to slow over-tourism and lessen the environmental impact of a steady stream of visitors to beautiful, delicate natural places. Now a consortium of western U.S. cities have teamed up for their own version, a conservation program called “Pledge for the Wild,” which launched this week.
The mountain towns of Bend, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Flagstaff, Arizona; and South Lake Tahoe, which extends between California and Nevada, are asking visitors to help protect the outdoor places they love. Each city hopes to ensure the future of the wild spaces in their communities, whether Smith Rock in Bend or the Rocky Mountains in Steamboat Springs or Bozeman’s Big Sky. They are asking visitors to be more aware of their impact—and perhaps donate a few bucks to local environmental charities while they’re at it.
While Palau’s pledge is stamped in visitors’ passports and Iceland’s is an online form, Pledge for the Wild has a text-to-d