May 2016

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
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September 1-5, 2016
 Honolulu, HI

November 15-17, 2016
Houston, TX

The Dordogne: The Landscape of Early Humans

The paintings that cover the walls of Lascaux Cave in France's Dordogne Region have assumed almost mythic proportions. The images open a window onto the deep past.  The early artist's polychrome depictions skillfully utilize the shapes of rock face as a form of bas relief. They bring  to life animals that no longer exist in Europe or, in some cases, on earth today.  A message reaching out to visitors from thousands of years in the past. As a child, I thrilled to the story of four young boys and their dog discovering this previously unknown treasure. It gave me my youthful taste for spelunking and archeology. So this spring I went on my own journey of discovery. 

Lascaux Cave is the most spectacular of the 25 decorated caves that comprise the  World Heritage listed  Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley (1979).  Of course as you may have heard the real cave, the World Heritage site, is now closed to protect the art works from further deterioration. However, a very exact re-creation, Lascaux II,  has been built nearby. It is not the same as the real thing, but it is still wondrous.

Living Landscape Observer
US/ICOMOS Announces US/CLICK Exchange
US/ICOMOS  announces the launch of the  U.S. Cultural Landscapes International Community of Knowledge or "US/CLICK,"  an international knowledge-sharing platform dedicated to cultural landscapes - one of most dynamic areas of heritage practice. The website offers web and social media-based tools for U.S. practitioners to exchange cultural landscape knowledge with other countries around the world. US/CLICK subscribers will receive notifications of new international cultural landscape content including research, publications, international news, and conferences. 
Learn more by visiting .

New International Land Conservation Network
The International Land Conservation Network  (ILCN), has been formed to "connect organizations and people around the world that are accelerating voluntary private and civic sector action that protects and stewards land and water resources." The ILCN envisions a world in which the public, private, civic (NGO), and academic sectors, together with indigenous communities around the globe, work collaboratively to protect and steward land that is essential for wildlife habitat, clean and abundant water, treasured human historical and cultural amenities, and sustainable food, fiber, and energy production.  Read the full article here.

ICOM 2016:  Museums and Cultural Landscapes
ICOM, the International Council of Museums, has selected Museums and Cultural landscapes as its conference theme in 2016. Cultural landscapes offer museums the opportunity to revive their missions and strengthen their cultural and social roles, but how does the process of moving beyond an institution's collections actually work? To  what extent should museums, especially those whose collections are linked to their locations, become a center for local and community interpretation? Interested?   Read more about the ICOM Conference here.
In the News
In Cultivating the Grassroots, Sarah Hansen, former executive director of the Environmental Grantmakers Association  (1998 to 2005), argues that  Environmental Funders need to shift their focus. Instead of supporting large, professionalized environmental organizations, who have traditionally received the majority of grants, they should re-oriented towards community-based groups that often represent those most heavily impacted by environmental harms.

Read a recent National Parks Conservation Association post on Wheeling, West Virginia entitled  Heritage at the Heart of Rust Belt Reinvention. 

According to the Huffington Post, a new report finds World Heritage sites around the globe may vanish from our warming planet.

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.