The last decade has witnessed an increasing interest in and recognition of cultural landscapes in the United States and worldwide, and there have been an impressive number of conservation successes. Various frameworks have been created to identify and categorize cultural landscapes, and progress is being made in developing tools and approaches for their management. The recognition of cultural landscapes is an exciting development and has focused attention on important historic, cultural, and archaeological resources. However, cultural landscapes present a number of management challenges: for example, their dynamic qualities, scale and transboundary issues, continuity of use, multiple ownership, and multiple jurisdictions. The primary focus of this handbook is on the interface of nature and culture in cultural landscapes. Since cultural landscapes result from the human interaction with the land, they encompass a range of natural and cultural values. The multidisciplinary aspect of cultural landscapes challenges our traditional approach to resource management, which has been discipline-oriented and has created a dichotomy between nature and culture. This dichotomy has proved to be a barrier to developing an integrated approach to landscape management.
Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site,
In response to the need for a more holistic
approach to cultural landscape management, the National Park Service
Conservation Study Institute, together with QLF/Atlantic Center
for the Environment, initiated this project to develop a handbook
for managers of cultural landscapes with important natural resource
values. The primary audience for this handbook includes superintendents,
site managers, resource managers, and other professional staff.
The purpose of the project is to share some of the innovative work
being done by resource management professionals: comprehensive approaches
that integrate multiple values in management. By creating a web-based
document that can easily be expanded to include more case studies
and additional suggestions of tools, approaches, and lessons learned,
we hope that this web site handbook will provide a forum for managers
to share their experiences. We believe this shared experience will
lead to a more successful integration of values in cultural landscape
management. Please use the address found at the "contact us"
button at the bottom of this page to send your ideas or suggestions.
Yosemite National Park
section of this report presents tools and approaches developed at
sites where some level of integration has been achieved. Also included
is advice from resource managers gained from years of experience
and deemed useful to pass on to others in similar professional positions.
This information was identified through the analysis of all of the
interviews conducted by researchers, which are listed in
Appendix E. Many of the tools and approaches and much of the
advice emphasize the importance of gathering and utilizing information
from a number of disciplines for decisionmaking. The information
can be gathered by documentation, e.g., cultural landscape reports
and historic character studies, or by outside expertise, e.g., charrettes
and expert panels. A second focus is on getting site staff to work
together more effectively through various communication strategies.
Approaches include a team-based project review process and integrated
staff work-days. Other tools, approaches, and advice gathered from
interviews include ways to improve the planning process and to work
with professionals and the public outside of a site.
The research for this handbook also included
a literature review. The result of that review is the Bibliography.