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Looking for Detroit’s Urban Landscape: My Experience on the George Wright’s 2016 Park Break

By Guest Observer May 27, 2017
Geo-referenced map showing locations of The Bluebird Inn, Motown Records, Submerge Studios and United Sound Systems
Credit: Ariel Schnee

Detroit is a place indelibly marked by the highest highs and the lowest lows of American history. Its crumbling buildings and forgotten factories are the tangible evidence of economic booms and busts, the rise and decline of American manufacturing, and the after-effects of WWII, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, racism and classism, as well as decades of local mismanagement and corruption.  It also has a rich urban cultural heritage that is still visible on the landscape, if you look closely enough. Read about one student’s experience seeking this heritage as part of the George Wright Society’s Park Break program, which in 2016 focused on implemtning the National Park Services Urban Agenda.

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 […]