Integrating Cultural Resource Preservation Priorities at a Landscape Scale: Introduction to the collaborative research program being sponsored jointly by the NPS and Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative
Jean Brennan- Science Coordinator, Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC)
The network of twenty-two Landscape Conservation Cooperatives’ (LCCs), established across the United States and several international borders, heralds a new conservation approach, operating at unprecedented spatial and temporal planning scales in North America. Perhaps more importantly this new “conservation paradigm” seeks to integrate human and cultural dimensions into conservation planning and design; thereby emphasizing natural and cultural resources in defining conservation priorities. The goal is to address the threats of land-use conversion associated with such threats as energy expansion, urbanization, sprawl, and climate change on future conservation efforts. This presentation outlines the initial phase of the research the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (AppLCC) will pursue over the next several years to integrate cultural resources in landscape scale conservation planning and design. These critical first step will: 1) identify relevant resources and data requirements, while investigating issues of scale and data availability appropriate for spatial analysis and modeling; and 2) identify a process appropriate to apply at the larger scale, i.e., moving from single state to include the entire LCC 15-states geography. Identifying and integrating cultural resource (CR) priorities within landscape-level modeling is foundational to the “landscape conservation design” (LCD) that will guide the Cooperative membership conservation actions over the next several years in fully implementing this new conservation paradigm.