August 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

   Marine National               Monument
This monument is a linear cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls surrounded in the Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,931 kilometers to the north west of the main Hawaiian Archipelago. It supports a dynamic reef ecosystem with more than 7,000 marine species, of which approximately one quarter is unique to the Hawaiian Islands. The monument is home to many species of coral, fish, birds, and marine mammals and other flora and fauna, including the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, three endangered whale species, and the endangered leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles.
In addition, this area has great cultural significance to the Native Hawaiian community. It is a sacred place of creation and settlement stories, and the islands and surrounding water has a strong connection to early Polynesian culture and is used to practice important activities like traditional long-distance voyaging and wayfinding. Two of the islands in the complex have archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use, including a large ensemble of shrines, heiau, which resemble those of inland  region of Tahiti. 

Living Landscape Observer
Landscape Conservation: The Next 4 Years?
How will the next election impact the idea of large landscape conservation? This topic is not the stuff of campaign speeches or sadly even photo ops. No people spoke at either convention about how large landscapes made a difference in their lives.  However, landscape scale practitioners want to know and one place to look for clues is in the party platforms. Both the Democrats and the Republican have adopted platforms that offer the voting public some ideas about the party's principles or goals. Not surprisingly, they offer very different perspectives on landscape conservation. Read More.

Rappahanncok Retracing their Past
In 1940, Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can't Go Home Again, a novel about finding one's identity in the modern world.  In popular American speech, the phrase has come to mean it is impossible to relive the optimistic expectations of youth once you have experienced the world as an adult.  Perhaps so, but through the Indigenous Cultural Landscapes initiative, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service intend to turn that concept around for the American Indian tribes of the Chesapeake region, and demonstrate that in some respects, you can go home again. Read the whole article here.

National Heritage Areas: Learning from Thirty Years of Working to Scale
In the face of challenges such as climate change and urban sprawl not to mention shrinking budgets and at-times hostile lawmakers, how can those interested in large landscape conservation ensure that their work is both effective and sustainable? In the most recent issue of the The George Wright Forum, a variety of scholars and practitioners examine these types of questions, analyzing the past and present of landscape-scale work in North America. Among the efforts under review is the National Heritage Areas (NHA) program, a more than three decades old initiative that now includes 49 areas stretching from New England to Alaska. Learn more about the history of the program as well as findings from an ongoing series of evaluations assessing the impact of individual NHAs.

In the News

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service!

As part of the HERCULES Project, a team visited South West Devon, 
the rolling hills of Devon, Dartmoor National Park with its abundance of traditional hedgerows. The team's mission was to find out what the future of this landscape could be like. As it often is with valuable cultural heritage, it may take centuries to grow, but can be greatly altered in just a few decades. How does the landscape of Devon cope with the imperative of scale enlargement, the influx of amenity migrants from more urbanized areas, and now BREXIT? 

The Nature Conservancy's dynamic migration map allows scientists and the public to see the continent-wide impact of climate change on animals and visualize corridors they will need to move.

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.