River Place on the Clinch is a community-based ecotourism development focusing on preservation, restoration, and environmental protection in the remote Appalachian community of Kyles Ford, Tennessee.
River Place on the Clinch was developed as a sustainable means of supporting conservation efforts related to the Kyles Ford Preserve while simultaneously creating jobs that constitute sustainable development that has both a positive affect on the community and a low impact upon the local culture.
River Place on the Clinch contains a Market, cabin and cottage rentals, bike, canoe, & raft rentals, camping, a Cafe, and a Clinch River Conservation Center & Retreat located at the Kyles Ford (WMA) Wildlife Management Area and Preserve on the Upper Clinch River.
Conservation efforts are a cooperative effort between agencies and the local community with the intention of improving the quality of the environment for the community of Kyles Ford and nurturing the reestablishment of what are presently rare and endangered species in the area.
Preservation efforts have focused on reinforcing Kyles Ford/Hancock County's culture and traditions while restoring historical structures on Preserve property.
From The Nature Conservancy:
The Nature Conservancy has joined the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in adopting the following definition of ecotourism:
"Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples."
Most tourism in natural areas today is not ecotourism and is not therefore, sustainable. Ecotourism can be distinguished from nature tourism by its emphasis on conservation, education, traveler responsibility and active community participation. Specifically, ecotourism possesses the following characteristics:
- Conscientious, low-impact visitor behavior
- Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity
- Support for local conservation efforts
- Sustainable benefits to local communities
- Local participation in decision-making
- Educational components for both the traveler and local communities
In order to minimize the impact of tourism on the local culture and environment, we recommend that visitors to River Place on the Clinch utilize the following learning resources to prepare for their trip to Kyles Ford »