March 2015

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
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May 13 - 15, 2015 
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA

November 2 - 5, 2015 
 Past Forward
Washington, DC

Cape Cod National Seashore
In 1961, the creation of Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts was an early testing ground for how to mesh a national park into living communities. The park's 40-mile strip of beaches, ponds, bays and dunes is an iconic landscape that has inspired artists and attracted visitors as a source of recreation and renewal. Also integral are the fishing villages, summer places and communities that serve as a record of the region's distinctive and still evolving cultural character. The 43,500 acres in the park's authorized boundary contain parts of six Cape Cod towns and over 600 owner occupied buildings. 



Living Landscape Observer
Policy Without Money is Just Talk
The Blackstone River Valley in Massachusetts and Rhode Island has long been a hotbed of innovation and change, whether it be 18th century industrialization or 20th century experimentation in protected area management, such as the creation of a National Heritage Corridor in 1986. 

Recently, the conservation possibilities of the region have been re-imagined yet again, with the designation of a new national park unit - the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park - in 2014. In an unusual move, the proposed 2016 NPS budget, known as the Greenbook, includes a proposal to move $650,000 in funding for the Heritage Corridor out of the National Heritage Area category and into the agency's operations budget for the new Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. So is this good or bad news for the Corridor? Read more.
Urban Parks Agenda for Everyone
Since at least the 1930s, the National Park Service has enjoyed a significant presence in urban areas. Yet, as the agency's 2016 centennial approaches, the history of park service programs in cities can, at best, be described as a mixed legacy, with many stops and starts along the way. What can we learn from the past and what might the future hold for the newly announced NPS Urban Agenda? Read more.
The Future of Administrative Histories
One way to learn the stories behind the creation and subsequent management of National Park units, regions, and programs across the country is through reading their administrative histories. For decades, NPS has supported the research and writing of these valuable documents, but how are they actually used (if at all?) by both park staff and other interested individuals and groups?. Learn more.
Partnerships for Landscape Stewardship
What areas of future research are needed to better understand the ins and outs of long-term, multi-stakeholder partnerships focused on landscape scale conservation? In this guest post from the Sustainable Futures for Europe's Heritage in Cultural Landscapes (HERCULES) project, the authors pose intriguing questions about what exactly just such a research agenda might look like. Read more.
In the News  

Aid to Nepal in Wake of Devastating Earthquake

If you are looking for ways to offer assistance following the devastating earthquake in Nepal here is a list of organizations in need of support. Via PRI. Other organizations include the Seva Foundation and Doctors without Borders.


#UniteForHeritage Campaign Launches Worldwide

Learn more about this global campaign to call attention to the ongoing destruction of world heritage sites in regions affected by war and civil strife. 


National Park Service Launches New Urban Agenda

NPS Director Jon Jarvis recently announced the implementation of a new urban agenda for the agency as its centennial anniversary approaches in 2016. 


Pope Francis to Call Attention to Climate Change, Reaction in US is Mixed

This summer, the Pope will issue an encyclical on environmental degradation with a focus on the role humans are playing in climate change. Read more in the New York Times.


As Congress debates re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a Wyoming landscape emerges as a sticking point Read more in High Country News.


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.