A Handbook for Managers of Cultural Landscapes with Natural Resource Values Conservation Study Institute
Northern New Mexico landscape, photo by Barbara Slaiby
Executive Summary
An Overview of Cultural Landscape Preservation
Introduction Northern New Mexico landscape, photo by Barbara Slaiby
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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.

photo by Nora Mitchell
Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site,
New Mexico

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.

photo by Nora Mitchell
Yosemite Valley,
Yosemite National Park

The Findings 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.

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