February 2014

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
Featured Landscape: St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
New York Heritage Areas
The Presidio Matters
NHA@30: Funding
Large Landscape Workshop
In the News
About Us
Join Our Mailing List
March 3-6, 2014
National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week in Washington, DC
March 19-22
National Council on Public History (NCPH) Annual Meeting  in Monterey, CA
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Boat Tour on the Dalles of the St. Croix River. Credit: National Park Service
Just south of Lake Superior lays the heart-shaped watershed of the St. Croix River. This region embraces two states, three ecological zones, and a rich cultural history. With beginnings in cataclysm and glaciation, the watershed is the homeland of the Dakota and Ojibewe nations. The landscape bears the impacts of both the fur trade and logging - which often caused devastation. Today the region is also known for conservation and recreation. Learn more here.
Living Landscape Observer
Uncertain Future for New York Heritage Areas

As part of our year long NHA@30 series, guest observer Paul Bray examines the origins, history and contemporary funding challenges of the New York State Heritage Areas program. How did this initiative get off the ground in the late 1970's and why has it struggled to be sustainable in recent years? Read More. 

Letter from Woodstock: The Presidio Matters
According to guest observer Rolf Diamant, "By any measure the Presidio represents one of the most ambitious experiments in public park-making, urban design, and multi-sector cooperation anywhere in the world." Just what makes the Presidio so innovative? And what barriers to success remain in place? Find out here.
Heritage Area Funding Roller Coaster
Funding for National Heritage Areas has always been unpredictable, especially in recent years when there has been little to no alignment between what the President's Budget requests and what Congress ultimately appropriates. How and when did this disconnect develop and what can be done about it? Another post in our NHA@30 series.
National Workshop on Large Landscapes
Join practitioners from across the country in Washington, D.C. for a National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation on October 23-24, 2014. Organized by the Practitioners' Network for Large Landscape Conservation, the Department of the Interior Large Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Metropolitan Greenspaces Alliance, the Bureau of Land Management, Chicago Wilderness and the American Fisheries Society, the meeting is a chance to build and share knowledge with others working on conservation at a landscape scape. Check out the newly re-vamped website of the the Practitioners' Network for Large Landscape Conservation to learn more.
In the News

Farm Bill Update 
The recently passed farm bill has combined many of the former farm and ranch land conservation programs into a larger Agricultural Lands Easement Program (ALE). The ALE program, which covers both rangelands and croplands, will fund more than $1 billion for conservation over the next ten years - with most of that funding coming in the next five years. Details of the cost share waiver and other aspects of the new law will be worked out in administrative rule-making conducted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 

Mount Taylor Eligible for National Register 
Mount Taylor in New Mexico has been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as a traditional cultural property. The National Trust has also designated Mount Taylor a National Treasure. A mountain landscape of more than 400,000 acres, it is a sacred place for many Indigenous peoples. It also provides water to surrounding communities. Mt. Taylor's historic designation was threatened by mining proponents who claimed the site was too large a landscape. In a unanimous opinion, the New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld Mt. Taylor's designation. The court's opinion is available here

National Parks Conservation Association features The Ohio & Erie and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area 
Designated by Congress in 1996, the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area celebrates the nature and history of the canal from Cleveland to New Philadelphia in northeast Ohio.
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.