January 2017

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
In This Issue
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March 29 - April 2, 2017
Chicago, IL
April 2-7, 2017
Norfolk VA


This month we are adding a new element to the Living Landscape Observer - Featured Voices. Going forward, each issue will highlight the work, experiences and perspective of an individual involved in the practice of landscape conservation or the study of large landscapes. Our interviewees will come from academia, the public sector, nonprofit organizations and business- all with the ultimate goal of sharing knowledge and insights into this complex and growing field.  

Our featured voice this month is Allen Dieterich-Ward, an Associate Professor of History at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. His 2015 book, B eyond Rust: Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the State of Industrial America (UPENN Press) examines the shifting economic fortunes of metropolitan Pittsburgh, a region that stretches well beyond the city's immediate boundaries to include swaths of Southwest Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as well. In writing this ambitious text, Dieterich-Ward set out to better understand how "physical and social landscapes shape identity..." Learn more about Beyond Rust, including the role of heritage in contemporary Pittsburgh and its surrounding region, by reading the full interview here
Living Landscape Observer
Listening to Zinke: The Landscape Ahead
At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on January 17, 2017, Representative Ryan Zinke spoke up and shared his vision for the position of Secretary of Interior.  Those who care about conservation at scale, protected areas, and our cultural heritage were listening carefully to what he had to say. The leadership of the Department of Interior is central to the future of the nation's landscapes and seascapes. So, w hat did we hear?

More than Campfire Conversation
In his most recent Letter from Woodstock, long time National Park Service leader Rolf Diamant paints a bigger and more complex picture of the creation of the National Park idea than the fabled Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir camping trip. He asks that we keep this broader vision of the parks before us during the hard times ahead and resist retreating into a defensive posture that only focuses on protecting park funding and resources. Read the whole article here. 

Reprinted with the kind permission the George Wright Society.

Secretary of Interior James Watt (at left) and President Ronald Reagan in 1982. Photo by Mary Anne Feckelman, The White House. Image fr om  www.usbr.gov.
1981 and 2017 - What Can We Learn?
What, if anything, can looking back at an earlier period of rapid change following a presidential election reveal about what the future might hold for environmental, health and preservation policies? 

Latest News and Information 

Investing in Our National Parks: A Proposal for the Transition Team  The Coalition to Protect America's National Park prepared a series of recommendations to address the most critical issues facing national parks in the next four years. 

Conserving the Landscape of the AT  The Appalachian Trail Conservancy together with the National Park Service and partners up and down the 2,200 miles of the trail have launched an effort to conserve more of the of this great American footpath. Watch the video on one person's efforts to conserve the landscape. This is part of a new series called "My AT Story".

What US Government Report Received the most Downloads?  Well, in the week after the election, it was the National Park Services's Cultural Resource Climate Change Strategy. Download here.

The Large Landscape Network  Introducing a  new name for the Practioner's Network for Large Landscape Conservation. The mission of the network is to support collaborative, cross border conservation as an essential approach to connect and protect nature, community and culture in the 21st Century. Consider joining the network as a partner!

The Paradox of Preservation: Wilderness and Working Landscapes at Point Reyes National Seashore,  Read an interview with Laura Watts that highlights the NPS' evolving ideas on cultural landscapes and the national park idea. 

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.