August  2017

Living Landscape Observer - Nature, Culture, Community
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September 6-8, 2017
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Living Landscape Observer
Photo: Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Site by Nora Mitchell
Nature and Culture: The Journey Continues
In the conservation world, the two faces of nature and culture have become more a dichotomy than a duality. And yet, there is growing recognition that only by taking a more holistic approach can the field address the most urgent issues facing our planet - climate change, urbanization, and the transformations wrought by globalization. At the 2016 World Conservation Congress on Hawaii, participants joined in a Nature - Culture Journey of over 50 sessions to explore the forces that shape our landscape sharing both scientific and traditional knowledge in the management of these critical resources. Selected reports from this nature-culture dialogue are now available in the most recent issue of the George Wright Journal titled Nature - Culture Journeys: Explorations on Shared Terrain, which is shares some of the key intersections from multiple perspectives. Read more here.
Photo: The Greenway Pit-Lake by John Baeten

Filling Mines with Fish: Rebranding the Mesabi Range as a Recreational Landscape
Post-mining landscapes often lie. What we see on the landscape today does not necessarily reflect the history in which that landscape was shaped. In this piece, guest observer John Baeten explores the complex story of Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range, tracing the effects of heritage tourism and environmental reclamation on a region long known as a center of extractive industry. Read more.

Photo: View of World's End, one of more than 100 properties in Massachusetts managed by the nonprofit Trustees of Reservations. 
Conservation at World's End
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the World's End property in Hingham, Massachusetts, by the nonprofit Trustees of Reservations. World's End is one of more than 100 properties managed by the Trustees, an organization that dates to the late 19th century. Read more.

Latest News and Information 

The Trump administration has indicated a change in direction in efforts to provide landscape scale conservation for the endangered sage grouse. This multi state and multi agency effort has been touted as one of great conservation partnership success stories. It was featured in the 2015  National Academy of Science report  "An Evaluation of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives", which concluded that a landscape approach is needed to meet the nation's conservation challenges. See this story in the

In developing a new Historic Preservation Plan for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a public survey uncovered some fascinating links between how preservation of cultural resources, and conservation of the natural environment are interpreted. The results showed little distinction between the results of both 'worlds' and the beneficial impact on their communities. Read more on this in a blog post by David Maher of the PA State Historic Preservation Office.

England's National Parks are truly lived in landscapes home to over 450,000 people.   A recent study documents the added value to property owners of living in a National Park, which is good news for existing owners. But does make it more difficult for  young families and other new home buyers to get into the market. 

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.