September 2012

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
Featured Landscape: Crown of the Continent
Keeping the Promise
Heritage Areas on the Brink
Conservation Funding
Reading Recommendation
Latest News
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Oct. 12-13
Cultural Landscape Challenges in the 21st Century, Rutgers University, NJ

Oct 31 - Nov. 5
Beyond Boundaries - Annual Meeting of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Spokane, Washington

 Featured Landscape Crown of the Continent

The trans-boundary region of the Rocky Mountains, where Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana come together, is one of the wildest, most diverse and intact ecosystems in the temperate zones of the world. It is also home to over 160,000 residents, including native peoples who occupy territory that has been their home for thousands of years. Learn more about efforts now underway to build a partnership network dedicated to collaboration,
community building and conservation in this special place.    


Photo credit: John Lambing



Living Landscape Observer
Gullah Geechee Corridor - Keeping the Promise
Guest contributor Mary Means shares her thoughts, recommendations and critiques of the recently completed Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Management Plan. In an era of shrinking federal support, how can such an important effort sustain itself in the short and long term? Read more.
National Heritage Areas on the Brink

Talk about a cliffhanger! As of now, it looks like funding for 12 of the 49 National Heritage Areas may be disappearing as Congress has [so far] failed to act on any re-authorization bills. So - what happens next for these landscapes, including such varied places as the Hudson River Valley, the steel landscape of southwestern Pennsylvania and the farmland of Iowa? Read more

Funding Conservation: The End of a Legacy?
In these tough financial times, state and federal governments are scrambling to balance their budgets. This has placed environmental and natural resource programs at risk as dollars that were once dedicated to state and local parks, open space conservation, and recreational infrastructure have been redirected to other uses. What in the past would have been called wise use of funds has now become a tempting target for appropriators and politicians looking for quick solutions to financial shortfalls. How are these trends playing out in the state of Pennsylvania? Read more.
Reading Recommendation of the Month
Looking for an interesting read on conservation, preservation, community development, cultural resources - or all of the above? So are we - and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you are reading so we can include it on our Research and Writing page.

In the meantime, here's one quick recommendation - Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation. In this book, author Karl Jacoby explores the lesser-known stories behind of some of the United States' most iconic protected landscapes: the Adirondack Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.

In contrast to an at-times romanticized narrative of environmentalists fighting heroically against corporate interests, Jacoby chooses to introduce his readers to individuals and rural and indigenous communities ignored, displaced and, indeed, even criminalized, by the designation of public lands. In framing his analysis, Jacoby never goes so far as to say that land conservation is bad or unnecessary; rather, he emphasizes that the creation of parks rarely proceeds in a "clean" or even fashion, creating diverse sets of winners and losers along the way. Though a work of history, this book's insights should be of interest to contemporary conservationists as well.
Latest News  

A few headlines that might be of interest:   


Interior Secretary Salazar Establishes Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in Colorado  


Preservation Plans for Isle of Wight Land in Virginia - to become Blackwater Sandhills Natural Area   


Groups in Washington State Wants to Expand North Cascades National Park   

About Us

The Living Landscape Observer is a new website, blog and monthly e-newsletter that offers commentary and information on the emerging field of large landscape conservation. This approach emphasizes the preservation of a "sense of place" and blends ingredients of land conservation, heritage preservation, and sustainable community development. Learn more about how you can get involved or sign up for the newsletter here.  

Our Mission: To provide observations and information on the emerging fields of landscape scale conservation, heritage preservation and sustainable community development.