January 2017

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


The Oregon Coast is one of the landscapes examined by Jackie M.M. Gonzales in her research on protected area policy in the United States after World War II.
Last month we added 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 Dr. Jackie M.M. Gonzales an environmental historian whose research has been informed by several years working at non-profit environmental policy organizations in Albany, New York as well as time spent as an interpreter for the National Park Service at Cape Cod National Seashore, Chickamauaga and Chattanooga National Military Park, and Manzanar National Historic Site. Gonzales currently works for Research Associates, Inc and holds a PhD from the University at Albany, SUNY. 

Her exciting dissertation project, Coastal Parks for a Metropolitan Nation, is a wide-ranging study of national park expansion in the postwar era. In it, she examines the unprecedented role played by local organizations and individuals in shaping federal protected area policy as well as the connections between the push for coastal parks and the broader environmental movement. Learn more   here
Living Landscape Observer
US World Heritage: Filling the Gaps
World Heritage designation connotes that a property is of outstanding universal value. In many countries, it is seen as a source of national pride - a potential ticket to more state support and possible economic benefits from increased tourism. However, this appellation is not as well known or sought after in the United States. So, it is a big deal that the U.S. has updated its World Heritage tentative list for the first time since 2008.  Read more about the five new cultural properties proposed for World Heritage status.

US National Parks on the Southern Border
Boundaries are always complex and ever evolving. Read three vignettes highlighting the current conditions facing U.S. National Park personnel seeking to carry out the agency's mission on the nation's southern border. Recent proposals to harden the infrastructure of the border, for example to build a wall, and to increase militarization and enforcement will not make accomplishing their goals any easier. Read more here.

Featured Landscapes Update
Since 2012, we have profiled close to 50 different landscapes varying in size from historically significant city centers to multi-state, even multi-region, conservation efforts. However, there are large swaths of the country (and the world as well), that we have yet to highlight. Would you like to contribute to the Living Landscape Observer? Write a piece or suggest a landscape for us to include by contacting the editors.

Latest News and Information 

The Budj Bim cultural landscape provides an outstanding example of the scale, complexity, and antiquity of a well preserved Aboriginal fishery that continues into the present. See video below of this amazing landscape.

Application deadline: 31 March 2017
Dates: 6 - 16 June 2017
This new program emerged as a response to growing concern over the divide between nature and culture within the World Heritage process. Despite one of the defining characteristics of the World Heritage Convention being that the protection and management of both natural and cultural values of Outstanding Universal Value falls under one international instrument, challenges bringing the two perspectives together still exist. 

Mountain Lions Of Los Angeles: Are the City Pumas dangerous Predators or Celebrity Guests?
Great article on the wild land / urban interface...how a celebrated lion P-22 be came a symbol for the need for landscape connectivity from the New Yorker magazine.

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.