August 2015

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
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National Trust for Historic Preservation
Washington D.C.
November 3-6 2015

Due October 1, 2015 
Goucher College (MD)
is sponsoring a National Forum on the Future of Historic Preservation to be held on March 19-20, 2016. Click the link above to download the CFP.

Isle Royale: International Biosphere Reserve

Isle Royale International Biosphere Reserve
Credit: National Park Service
In the northwestern portion of Lake Superior is one of the least visited of our national parks, Isle Royale.  This unique and remote island archipelago preserves 132,018 acres of land. Overall it encompasses a total area of 850 square miles incl uding submerged land, which extends 4 1/2 miles out into the largest fresh water lake in the world. Isle Royale was designated as a national park in 1940, a wilderness in 1976 and most recently as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980.  Learn more about this featured landscape here  
Living Landscape Observer
Reading: The Science of Open Spaces
My late summer reading list included Charles Curtin's book 
The Science of Open Spaces: Theory and Practice for Conserving Large Complex Systems (Island Press 2015). In so many ways this is the book I have been waiting for. As the title promises it tackles working on a landscape scale with on the ground case studies, but also takes a deep scholarly dive into the theories that underpin this work - chaos, complexity and resilience to name just a few.
How is Restoration Relevant to Stewardship?
Can Landscape Stewardship really include restoration? Even more the concept of novel systems and their management? This contribution by Peter Bridgewater and reprinted with permission of the Hercules Project suggests that good stewardship must explore practices beyond just preserving the landscape.  Read the article.
The Practitioners' Network for Large Landscape Conservation 
An alliance of professionals and citizens engaged in leading, managing, researching, advocating, funding, educating or setting policy to advance large landscape conservation initiatives. Large landscape conservation initiatives are those efforts which are focused on large areas of recognized conservation value, sensitivity and/or threat and require a broad-based, multi-jurisdictional, multi-sectoral, multi-purpose (economic, social and environmental) approach with specific, measurable conservation objectives.

Visit the site's learning platform designed to "build" and "share" knowledge about large-scale collaborative conservation - based on the collective wisdom of hundreds of practitioners, including landowners, nongovernmental organizations, state and federal agencies, universities, and many others. Learn more.
LBJ and the LWCF 
In just about one month, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is set to expire, a deadline that threatens to halt one of the country's most effective landscape protection initiatives. Recent weeks have brought news of progress towards a bi-partisan resolution, but until a bill passes Congress, the future remains uncertain. What was the context of the program's passage in 1964 and how did members of the Johnson Administration view the bill?.  Read more.
In the News
The National Park Service launched a major project to identify sites associated with the  the reconstruction era. While many Civil War battlefields have been reinterpreted to tell the story of the role of slavery, there are no national park historic sites on the struggles of the postwar period.  Read the New York Times article here.

What will European landscapes look like in 2040? Where will we live and work, and how will we balance the need to protect nature with the increased demands for urban space, agriculture and forestry? 
Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina remade both the human and ecological landscape of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In the city there has been rebuilding and recovery, but many of the poorest neighborhoods continue to struggle. A recent article maps the uneven recovery by neighborhood.   The storm also blew apart barrier islands, destroyed thousands of acres of wetlands, and further inland, knocked down hardwood forests.  See how Katrina redrew the map along the Gulf Coast.

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.