Many rural landscapes are shaped by centuries of agricultural land use. As agricultural land use practices change, landscapes transform. In fact, transformation is a key-characteristic of any agricultural landscape. Most of these transformations occur without major notice. Others, however, are perceived as unwelcome and result in requests for landscape stewardship interventions. But who is responsible for defining the stewardship goals and the interventions needed for agricultural landscapes, for implementing and bearing the extra efforts or forgone profits?
The end of 2014 and the early months of 2015 marked a period of growth for the National Park system, with 9 new units designated by either Congressional action or Presidential Proclamation. However, the additions were not without controversy, with some commentators lamenting that new additions would invariably mean less funding for existing units. In this piece, guest observer Rolf Diamant examines the perennially-vexing question of whether the park system will ever be “complete.”
The major land and water conservation challenges facing the nation require action on a scale that is large and multi-jurisdictional.The benefits of landscape connectivity are resilient habitats, essential ecosystem services and stronger cultural connections. Yet, generating and sustaining funding for efforts that seek to work on a landscape scale remain daunting. Why is this case and what might be done about it?
Political economy has long shaped park policy in the United States. Beginning in the late 19th century when the booming railroad business drove the designation of new National Parks to more recent shifts towards privately-funded public spaces, protected areas have always reflected the dominant economic ethos of an era. What can we learn about post World War II park-making by looking at the changing role of the state and the increasing mobility of capital during that time period?
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