2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Heritage Areas program. Conceived as a way to cross the culture – nature divide, heritage areas stretch beyond political boundaries to tell landscape scale histories and protect regional environmental resources. The areas tell stories that are too big, too gritty, too alive and too expensive to be confined within a traditional national park unit. Yet, heritage areas have been consistently hammered by shrinking federal budgets, questions about the proper role of government, and even their right to exist. Read more about how the LLO plans to mark this important anniversary.
The conservation movement has embraced the idea of preserving large landscapes as the only way to provide the necessary resilience and protection for the world’s ecosystems challenged by climate change and the impacts of global development. But how large a landscape is large enough?
Not so long ago the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor was the pride of the National Park Service (NPS), exemplary of the agency’s new approach to managing living landscapes. But somewhere along the way, the NPS changed direction. A Special Resource Study, for example, rejected the continuation of the heritage commission, instead recommending the creation a far more traditional national park. What is going on with this once exemplary partnership model?
Do you know an undergraduate or graduate student interested in historic preservation, planning, history, public policy, law, architecture or a related field? If so, encourage them to apply to the Preservation Action Advocacy Scholars program, which offers a limited number of competitive scholarships to students interested in attending National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week (March 2-4, 2015) in Washington, D.C. This year Preservation Action has joined the NHA@30 celebration by proposing the National Heritage Areas program as topic for the required advocacy scholar’s essay.
“To me, a cultural landscape is a visually harmonious and fundamentally sustainable landscape that emerges out of the fusion of natural and anthropogenic activities.” – Duncan Hilchey, from interview with the Cultural Landscape Foundation