A Handbook for Managers of Cultural Landscapes with Natural Resource Values Conservation Study Institute
San Francisco Bay, California, photo by Nora Mitchell
San Francisco Bay, California, photo by Nora Mitchell
Executive Summary
An Overview of Cultural Landscape Preservation
An Overview of the Case Studies
Gathering and Utilizing Information
Communications: Getting Staff to Work Together
The Management Planning Process
Working with Others Outside the Site
Needs Assessment
Findings Golden Gate Bridge, photo by Nora Mitchell
View Case Studies

An Overview of the Case Studies

While the Blue Ridge Parkway encompasses a narrow corridor of land owned by the federal government and managed by the National Park Service, the majority of the scenic viewsheds that are integral to the park's significance are on privately owned land under the planning jurisdiction of local communities and 29 counties. For many of these counties, land use planning and growth management are just beginning to emerge; in the interim, there is very little in the way of viewshed protection. Park resource managers and planners have developed a program to engage the public, local stakeholders, and county and municipal governments to analyze and help protect the key viewsheds.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a test case for developing a cultural landscape inventory on a large scale. GIS mapping has proven useful as a tool to identify changes in features and patterns of the cultural landscape over time. The park has established an agricultural leasing program to address the loss of open fields, as well as a committee to assess the compliance requirements of various park activities, allow for input from park staff, and ensure that all resource issues are addressed.

Gettysburg National Military Park used innovative approaches in developing the park's updated general management plan (GMP). An analysis of the character-defining features of the Gettysburg battlefield landscape was incorporated into the new GMP and directed resource managers toward the best approach for protecting the cultural landscape. The analysis process also provided a useful tool to illustrate various management options during public comment sessions for the GMP.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is a site where a portion of the cultural landscape, a historic pecan orchard, is managed as a cultural resource that remains economically productive. The park staff has worked to develop a management plan for the orchard that respects its cultural and natural resource values, while continuing to produce a saleable crop of pecans each year. Orchard management includes an integrated pest management (IPM) program and a water quality monitoring regime.

At Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (MBRNHP) the Mount Tom Forest is one of the earliest examples of planned and managed reforestation in the United States. The Forest illustrates more than a century of stewardship, from the earliest scientific silvicultural practices borrowed from nineteenth-century Europe to contemporary practices of sustainable forest management. When the Mount Tom Forest was gifted to create MBRNHP, the National Park Service made a commitment to continue the tradition of careful, sustainable forest management practiced by the Billings and Rockefeller families. In 2002, the park, including its forest, was the pilot for a new documentation tool, the Historic American Landscape Survey. MBRNHP is currently developing a Forest Management Plan with a long-term vision for the future of the Mount Tom Forest. The Plan will guide forest practices, historic preservation, natural resource protection, recreation, education and interpretation. A cultural landscape report and other documentation tools will inform the forest management plan. Working with several universities, consulting foresters, NPS Conservation Study Institute and the NPS Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, the National Park Service is bringing the perspectives of many diverse disciplines to the planning process.

At the Presidio of San Francisco, a unit of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, resource managers are also developing a vegetation management plan that includes a historic forest. In this case, the National Park Service is developing the plan cooperatively with the Presidio Trust, an independent federal agency. Because the Presidio is located at the edge of a densely populated urban area, public involvement is particularly important. A historic character study currently underway will be combined with knowldege of natural resources to inform management decisions.

The Presidio's small, 145-acre Crissy Field is included as a separate case study because of the complexity of developing the site's design plan. The focus of this case study is on the negotiation process used to bring together a broad array of interests to integrate historic preservation and ecological conservation.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was established by legislation on land in private ownership with management responsibilities shared by a private organization, the National Park Trust, and a federal agency, the National Park Service. The National Park Service realized that the success of the park would depend on building a strong relationship with local communities, and that input from local people and organizations would be important in developing the park's general management plan. The process used to develop the plan integrated research and expertise from outside experts and incorporated input from an advisory committee and local communities.

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