September  2016

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
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  The Port City of Falmouth Jamaica 
Although today we think of globalization as just a twentieth century phenomenon, the story of the eighteenth century port town of Falmouth, Jamaica, is also an example of its long-term effects. Founded in 1769, the port was built by elite English planters and enslaved West Africans to better service the global demand for sugar, molasses, and rum by increasing access to the g rowing number of plantations on Jamaica's north coast. This small coastal town also reveals the true historical depth of international exchange in products and ideas. Falmouth would soon come to boast the second largest population center on the island and the first piped water system in the Americas. Falmouth was a leading economic driver in the British Empire's most profitable colony
until the introduction of steam power ships with
deeper hulls rendered Falmouth's port too shallow and, therefore, unusable.

The global influences that created outposts such as Falmouth left their mark on the burgeoning port town as well as its surrounding landscape: planters purchased vast tracts of land and annihilated the standing timber in order to plant sugar cane; slaves creolized their traditions, customs, and even their language; and trade w ith the United States provided a profitable market for Jamaican sugar products and simultaneously supplied the island with flour, salt fish, timber, and horses (Henry 2010). As the townspeople began to grow and prosper, these influences began to manifest themselves on the landscape.

Living Landscape Observer
Nature & Culture at World Conservation Congress in Honolulu
The Hawaiian Islands were created by a chain of volcanic hot spots in the Pacific and long settled by voyageurs who traveled thousands of miles across open water. The interrelationship and adaptation of the nature and culture on these islands present lessons for the future of resource conservation. So it was fitting that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held its first ever World Conservation Congress in the United States in Hawai'i. For ten days in September, more than 10,000 conservationist leaders from 193 countries gathered to advance conservation thinking and strategies around the theme of "Planet at a Crossroads." The need to view nature and cultural in a holistic manner was highlighted at the Congress by a track (called a journey) dedicated specifically to that topic. Read more about this special journey.

Lessons from Appalachian Traditional Places
As swaths of the country are being crisscrossed by energy corridors, how can significant landscapes be considered in the planning process? Listing a rural area as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places may not always help a community preserve what is really valued about a place. For example, the description of the resource matters. Some preservation professionals may slip into architectural and archaeological jargon when describing the historic and cultural qualities of a place. It is important to remind them to attend to the spaces around the buildings, structures, and sites, and particularly to listen to the people who live there. Interesting work has been done outside the context of historic preservation, about the cultural attachment that people have to a place- this might help identify what is really important.  Read more here.  

How Origins Can Affect Landscape Scale Work
Can the origins of a program, including the mode and manner of its creation, play a role in determining success or failure? Do the means of establishment, by an agency, an executive or a legislature, influence sustainability and durability of a landscape-scale initiatives? Read more.

In the News

Map created by Josef Kellndorfer and Wayne Walker of  Woods Hole Research Center in conjunction with the  U. S. Geological Survey Science Center's  Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center and the  US Forest Service

Map of the month
Explore this map for more information on tree population and density 

Just In!
The newly created  National Park Action Fund advocates for our National Parks and encourages constituents to support members of Congress who stand up for them. Look up members of Congress, including from own district, and see how their grades stack up.
A recent IUCN publication, Managing Midas, highlights the benefits and drawbacks of administering sites with multiple international designations. Recognition of an area  under the Ramsar Convention, the World Heritage Convention, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and the Global Geoparks Network can undoubtedly assist with conservation and sustainable development, but also poses challenges in determining how best to harmonize management goals.

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.