July 2014

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
Featured Landscape: Cranberry Bogs
NHA Program Legislation
Risks from Climate Change
Writing Off Traditional Cultural Properties
#NHA30 - National Reserves System Act
About Us
Join Our Mailing List
October 23-24, 2014
November 9-14, 2014
18th ICOMOS  General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, "Heritage and Landscape as Human  Values"
Florence, Italy
November 11-14, 2014 
Savannah, Georgia
Cape Cod Cranberry Bogs
Massachusetts Cranberry bog. Courtesy: Duncan Hilchey
Cranberry production in the cool northern climates of North America encompasses a distinctive American landscape complex. Cranberry bog owners in Plymouth and Barnstable counties in Massachusetts are stewards of an important environmental, economic, and cultural resource of 14,000 acres (5,665 ha) of rare wet-land agricultural systems that are globally unique.


Living Landscape Observer
National Heritage Area Program Legislation 

For more than 20 years, attempts have been made to pass National Heritage Areas program legislation in Congress with numerous bills introduced by representatives from both sides of the aisle. Will 2014 be the year it finally happens? Read reflections from a recent hearing on the matter.  


Also, you can watch a video of the hearing (on H.R. 445) via the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation here...discussion of the heritage area bill begins at the 2:28 mark.  

National Landmarks at Risk 

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists calls attention to the significant risks posed by climate change to 30 nationally significant cultural and historic sites. Read the report.  

Writing Off Traditional Cultural Properties
First published in 1990 and subsequently revised, National Register Bulletin 38 provides guidelines for the evaluation and documentation of Traditional Cultural Properties (TCP). In this post, one of the bulletin's authors, Tom King, addresses shortcomings in a recent report that sought to apply the TCP concept to the Gladesmen, longtime residents of the Florida Everglades. Read more. 
#NHA30: Key Documents
As noted above, members of Congress recently discussed the merits of passing National Heritage Areas program legislation. In the late 1970's, Congress considered the creation of another system of landscapes - National Reserves.

Inspired by efforts in the New Jersey Pinelands, Adirondacks and elsewhere, the National Reserves Act of 1977 called for new, collaborative approaches to protected area management. Though the bill never came to the floor for a vote, it nonetheless provides an interesting perspective on conservation and preservation policy in the years leading up to the first heritage area designation in 1984. See a copy of the 1977 legislation here along with other NHA key documents.
In the News


Atchafalaya Basin Could Become National Park

The Acadiana chapter of the Sierra Club is calling for the designation of the Atchafalaya Basin as a National Park unit, which would require congressional approval. The region's designation as National Heritage Area has been in place since 2006, but it doesn't offer enough special protection for conservation according to some advocates. Read more.

Hobby Lobby Ruling and the San Francisco Peaks
Reflections on how a recent Supreme Court ruling might have impacted efforts to prevent the use of treated sewage effluent on the slopes of a mountain in northern Arizona held sacred by many Indigenous peoples. Read more.


First Pacific Northwest National Heritage Area  

A proposal to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area was introduced in late July in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

The National Heritage Area - covering 1.4 million acres along the I-90 corridor from Seattle to Ellensburg - would be the first such designation in Washington state. 

About Us

The Living Landscape Observer is a 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.