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What’s in a (Public Lands) Name?

By Eleanor Mahoney April 27, 2017
Agricultural land, Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve

Public lands in the United States go by a variety of names: Parks, forests, monuments, historical parks, recreation areas, seashores, refuges and more. Though confusing to the public (and even, at times, to agency employees!), each appellation has a “genealogy” of sorts, a history that, if traced, offers insights into the goals and motivations of those who initially pushed for the creation of different types of protected areas. I recently visited the two of the three “National Reserves,” Ebey’s National Historical Reserve in Washington State and the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve and began to wonder when that term first came into use (NB: Both are Affiliated Areas, not National Park units)

Featured Voice: Emily Bateson

Adirondack Mountain Lake. Credit: Thomas Cooper

In this month’s “Featured Voice,” we talk with Emily Bateson, the Coordinator for the Network for Landscape Conservation. She has more than 30 years experience in whole systems conservation, including projects that span the border between the U.S. and Canada.

Take Notice: Trending for Large Landscapes

By Brenda Barrett April 25, 2017
Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area

Every two years protected area managers, scientists, and every kind of experts on cultural and natural heritage gather at the George Wright Conference to present papers, engage in lively discussions and swap professional gossip at the bar. I always find these meetings to be the place to spot emerging ideas in the field. The 2017 meeting in Norfolk VA was no exception. So what is trending for large landscapes?

Examining Federal Land Acquisition Practices After World War II

By Eleanor Mahoney March 30, 2017
View of Big Cypress National Preserve. Photo by National Park Service.

In the decades after World War II, the Federal government significantly altered its approach to land acquisition for parks, forests and other protected areas. Before this period, Congress rarely appropriated funds for the purchase of private property. Instead, protected areas were either carved out the public domain (which has much of its origins in Indigenous dispossession) or […]

Federal Budget: First Look is not Promising

By Brenda Barrett March 29, 2017
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On March 16, 2017 the Whitehouse released its budget framework styled America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again and the news was not great  for programs that support large landscape conservation. For the FY 2018 the Department of Interior faces a proposed 12 % budget reduction and the Environmental Protection Agency is facing a 31% reduction. In general this brief document does not identify where the pain will fall except on the often pummeled National Heritage Areas. And while only the first step in the budget process, this proposal needs to be taken seriously.