March 2017

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
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Living Landscape Observer
Thinking about Heritage Tourism 
With a global market of 1 billion travelers, how can heritage managers draw tourists into a deeper engagement around the understanding of place and more importantly the people who live in the place. Can another path be found that provides a more human dimension? One that goes beyond the current approach that only offers visitors a pre-packaged consumer product sometimes characterized as hit-and-run tourism? A recent conference and a visit to two World Heritage cities, provided an opportunity for reflection. Read More

US Federal Budget: First look is not promising
On March 16, 2017 the White House released its budget framework styled "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again" and the news was not great for programs that support large landscape conservation. For the FY 2018 budget, the Department of Interior faces a proposed 12% budget reduction and the Environmental Protection Agency a whopping 31% reduction. In general, the document does not identify where the cuts will come except on the often pummeled National Heritage Areas. However, it is clearly not supportive of land acquisition or regional conservation initiatives, and threatens funding for parks and protected areas. Let's look at the actual language in the Blueprint.  Here are some of the details 

Big Cypress National Preserve. Photo by By Gzzz (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Federal Land Acquisition After WWII 
n the decades after World War II, the Federal government significantly altered its approach to land acquisition for parks, forests and other protected areas. Before this period, Congress rarely appropriated funds for the purchase of private property.
The push for open space and recreation opportunities near urban areas as well as the passage of landmark legislation like the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (1964) meant there was both an increased demand for and funds available to support land acquisition. Yet, the results of this transformation were often far from ideal. Read more and learn about a historic document that looks at this issue in a detailed fashion.

Latest News and Information 

What's Next for America's Public Lands?
A detailed and thoughtful review from  Outdoor Life on various Congressional proposals to change the way federal lands are managed as well as analysis of how state's have either sold off or limited public access to much of their trust land in recent decades. 

How a Border Wall would also harm land, water and wildlife
In addition to seriously impacting individuals, families and border communities, a proposed wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico would likely disrupt public lands and wildlife. One of the most ecologically diverse wildlife migration corridors in all of North America crosses the wall's proposed construction site in a key area, and thousands of species will be in danger if it moves forward.  Get an overview with this powerful StoryMa p.

To read more about the impact of the border on National Park units see our recent post: US National Parks on the Southern Border

The Waterway that made Chicago
Openlands President and CEO Jerry Adelmann tells the story of the creation of the Illinois and Michigan National Heritage Corridor  - the first of now 49 National Heritage Area. He highlights the value of heritage area idea and urges readers to take action to save the program.  Read the whole article here .

Five Pennsylvania based National Heritage Areas take Action
Faced with the threat of defunding, the commonwealth's five NHAs have issued a press release detailing the contribution of each of the areas to conserving the nation's heritage.  Read the story in the Titusville Herald
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.