Last summer, I taught a college course on the History of U.S. National Parks. At the time, I lamented the relative lack of high-quality, scholarly research on recent National Park history to share with my students. Fortunately for me, when I teach the class again this spring, I will now have the book I was looking for – the recently published A Thinking Person’s Guide to America’s National Parks.
What happens when a highway project, long planned to improve the functionality of the overall transportation system, runs up against new designations that look at the value of resources on a landscape scale? How can infrastructure development manage this changing landscape? After all it does not look like this kind of thinking is going away. Read the back story and some recommendations for the future.
The need and the recognition of a growing movement inspired the founding of the International Land Conservation Network (ILCN), which is working to connect organizations and people across a broad spectrum of action relating to private and civic land conservation. 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.
Plantations line the coast and tidal rivers in states of Georgia and South Carolina. Today many of these properties are recognized for their historic values and although the region has been impacted by development, its natural resource values have not been neglected. What is not well known is how these pieces – the plantations, the wildlife preserves, and coastal areas fit together.
Could a “back-to-the-future” approach to National Park policy aid the agency in setting goals for the 21st century? Might the 1970s, the era that brought us stagflation and disco hold some clues as to what the future might bring for conservation in the United States?