Natural Areas

What if nature, like corporations, had the rights and protections of a person?
by Chip Colwell
The Conversation, October 10, 2016
Key words: Citizens United, Te Urewera Act, natural and cultural resources protection, Zuni, Maori, Hopi
http://theconversation.com/what-if-nature-like-corporations-had-the-rights-and-protections-of-a-person-64947
For the Zuni Pueblo, Mount Taylor (northwest of Albuquerque, NM) is a site of sacred significance that has sustained and shaped the life and identity of the Zuni people for centuries. The mountain is regarded as a giver of life, a living body. In this article, the author uses Mount Taylor as an example of a place that, were it to be regarded (as corporations are) as a living person, could be afforded the same respect and protections by federal and state regulators, as it is by the Zuni. Such a designation could provide the mountain rights and protections from, for example, the already extensive uranium mining taking place there by the U.S. Forest Service.

Keep off the Grasslands, Mark Dowie on Conservation Refugees
By: Joel Whitney
The Sun
August 2013
Key words: Resource extraction, public lands, pristine, wilderness, Indigenous, stewardship
https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/452/keep-off-the-grasslands
The author interviews Mark Dowie about Indigenous peoples around the world and their abilities to create biological diversity, using their traditional ecological knowledge, and the impact of big corporations and conservation organizations and their creation and impact on wilderness areas.

Resilience and the Cultural Landscape; Understanding and Managing Change in Human-Shaped Environments
Edited by: Tobias Plieninger and Claudia Bieling
Cambridge University Press
2012
Key words: Biodiversity, ecological disturbance, adaptability, social–ecological resilience
http://assets.cambridge.org/97811070/20788/frontmatter/9781107020788_frontmatter.pdf
Human activity occupies more than four-fifths of Earth’s landmasses, which have been primarily cultivated for timber production and agriculture. These dominant forms of human-environmental relationships characterize a model of industry at the cost of biodiversity and resilience. This view of humans on the environment excludes traditional relationships that are both longer standing examples, and promote ecological resilience. These mutually beneficial examples are used to show how localized management programs contrast against larger practices. Authors discuss the ways in which a cultural-ecological landscape can remain productive until it crosses a certain threshold of scale, at which it’s unable to remain as resilient.

What is Natural?: Protected Areas, Indigenous Peoples, and The Western Idea of Nature
by Dennis Martinez
Ecological Restoration, 21:247-250;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.247
December 2003
Keywords: Wildness, ecological integrity, control over nature
http://www.georgewright.org/0535martinez.pdf
The author discusses Western ideas of the separation of nature from humanity. Policies separating indigenous people from involvement in land management are contrasted against arguments that indigenous people are integral to successful ecosystems.

What is Natural?: Nature as We See It: National Parks and the Wilderness Ideal
by David Louter
Ecological Restoration, 21:251-253;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.251
December 2003
Keywords: Definition of natural, Native American eviction, wilderness design
http://er.uwpress.org/content/21/4/251.extract
This article discusses aspects of National Parks Landscapes and messaging that have been designed by modern society National Parks policy. The author explores the meaning of natural by looking at historic human involvement with natural landscapes. Also discusses the historic policy focus on tourism in national parks sometimes at the expense of other interests. Finally, the article touches on the eviction of Native Americans from National Parks lands and how Native Americans involvement in National Parks clashed with ideas of pristine wilderness promoted in the progressive era.

Last updated: November 8, 2018