November 2015

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
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Historic PreservationAdvocacy Week March 8-10, 2016
Washington, D.C.
Joint National Council on Public History and Society for History in the Federal Government Conference 
March 16-19, 2016
Baltimore, MD 

IUCN World Congress
September 2016
 Honolulu HI

Piedmont Environmental Council
Located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Piedmont of northern Virginia is renowned for its scenery, historical significance, productive farms, and thriving communities. It also includes several of the fastest growing jurisdictions in the nation. To conserve the cultural and natural values of these nine counties, in 1972 community leaders established the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC).
Today PEC has racked up significant accomplishments in land conservation, protecting air and water quality, and preserving the region's historic resources, and scenic viesheds all in the service of saving the Piedmont's special sense of place and creating better communities for all it's citizens. As a regional conservation organization the PEC uses multiple strategies that stretch far beyond the agenda of tradional land trusts that focus on just protecting acres from development.
The Council takes a holistic view of the Piedmont that seeks to preserve all of the region's resources. 
Living Landscape Observer
Jeju Island, Korea Hosts International Experts on Cultural Landscapes
The November 2015 Annual Meeting of the ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL) was hosted on Jeju Island, Korea, home to some of that country's most outstanding natural features and cultural heritage sites. There, conversation centered around the aesthetics of landscapes, connecting the practice of nature and cultural conservation, and an initiative to advance the understanding and conservation of world rural landscapes. Read more.

Cultural Heritage, Environmental Impact Assessment, and People
Large infrastructure projects have the potential to damage both the environment and the cultural heritage characteristics associated with it. Although many countries have created strategies to assess the environmental impacts of construction, they often overlook cultural resources and the heritage valued by the residing community. Tom King tackles some of the barriers to creating more holistic environmental impact assessments, and even suggests some solutions. Read more here. 
National Heritage Areas Deliver Place-Based Education 
The Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student Service Learning Project (OBF) program became one of two case studies explored by Marie Snyder in her thesis research. Created and customized by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership (JTHG Partnership) in 2009, OBF connects students with surrounding historic, natural, and cultural resources reaching from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to Gettysburg National Military Park. This innovative program presents students with the challenge of interpreting for themselves, some aspect of a particular historic site they find most interesting. In all cases, students embraced the important responsibility of telling a story, as well as, developing a deeper connection and understanding of a place. Read more. 
Pennsylvania's Hallowed Ground: A Role for Historic Preservation
The saga of the Locust Grove Cemetery, an African American burial ground in a small community in Pennsylvania is one repeated across the nation. Professor Steven Burg's and his students' work to research and tell the story of the cemetery's historic value and to engage with its caretakers in the site's preservation demonstrates the limitations of our current historic preservation framework. Can we do better? Read more.
This post is made available courtesey of History@Work, the blog of the Council of Public History.

In the News
Read Up on Landscape Conservation CooperativesManaging across geographic and disciplinary boundaries has become increasingly challenging. In 2010 the Department of the Interior launched the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) to better  address climate change and other landscape scale issues. Today, there are 22 LCCs that collectively form a network of resource managers and scientists who share a common need for scientific information and interest in conservation. 

A grassroots effort is under way to create Big Bend International Park, a park that would span the U.S./Mexico border in southern Texas.
Driving the effort is the Greater Big Bend Coalition, a conservation group working to protect the desert lands, rivers, mountains and wildlife of the greater Big Bend ecosystem of Texas and northern Mexico. The region includes nearly 8,000 square miles of protected lands in U.S. National Parks, Texas state parks, and protected areas in Mexico. Read the story in the National Park Traveler.

On November 3, 2015 President Obama issued a new Memorandum: Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.The new policy is an important step forward in landscape level conservation.
The Nature Conservancy hailed it as a significant advance in how our nation develops and conserves our natural resources by directing federal agencies to establish high and consistent standards for how they avoid, minimize, and offset the impact of development. 
Finally, Ken Salazar, former Secretary of the Interior, makes a powerful argument that Our National Parks Remain Unfinished 
 park making is a long term effort comparable to the construction of the cathedrals of Europe.

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.