November 2009
Featured Articles

Initiative to Promote Black Belt Outdoors Launched

Goal of Effort to Spur Tourism, Create Jobs

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures, an initiative aimed at creating jobs and bolstering the region’s economy by promoting the Black Belt’s extensive outdoor recreational resources, was launched August 12, 2009, at the Southern Sportsman Hunting Lodge in Tyler, just east of Selma on Highway 80.

Several major figures in Alabama’s conservation and outdoor development efforts participated in the launch. Among them were Barnett Lawley, Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources; Director Neal Wade, Alabama Development Office; Jackie Bushman, founder of Buckmasters; and Ray Scott, founder of Bassmasters.

Commissioner Barnett Lawley said educating people about what the area has to offer will go a long way in attracting visitors and businesses. "This area has so much to offer, not just to Alabamians but to people from all over the country. From hunting to fishing to hiking to birding and so much more, there’s something here for everybody, and we want people to know that."

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures will communicate its message through a professionally-designed website as well as an extensive ad campaign and communications effort to the rest of the country. The website will include information about local outdoor facilities in the region, bed and breakfasts, museums, public and private lands accessible for outdoor recreation, landowner resources for habitat improvement, and many other amenities available to tourists.

"The goal is to take what the Black Belt already has—a beautiful landscape, abundant wildlife, ample outdoor activities, good people and businesses that cater to those wanting to experience the region—and use those things to attract more businesses, create more jobs and make the Black Belt an even better place to visit," said Jackie Bushman.

The Black Belt gets its name from the soil, which is rich in nutrients and unusually dark. In the past, the region was famous for its farmland, but in recent years the Black Belt has become a prime destination for outdoorsman both in and out-of-state.

For more information about Alabama Black Belt Adventures, please visit: www.alabamablackbeltadventures.com.