The SALCC Steering Committee has approved three new cultural resource indicators and targets:
1. Maintain context within 250 meters of non-urban sites on the National Register of Historic Places
2. Recognize the natural resource indicator of clean water as a cultural resource indicator as well.
3. Increase Longleaf Pine Ecosystems by 50% in the next 15 years.
All of these indicators were selected because they were important to the conservation of cultural landscapes. Carl Sauer, founding father of human geography and cultural ecology, said that “The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a cultural group. Culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape is the result“ This philosophy ties together the natural and built environments, each contributing to the cultural landscape, which is ultimately a place that offers a unique experience, immersing one in a past time, enabling us to experience our history and the connection that we had, and still have today, to the land.
Here’s some of the thinking behind why these indicators were nominated by your SALCC staff…
Why: The national register of historic places is a reflection of what Americans value in their historic built environment. It is the collection of our human imprint on the landscape that records through time our changing relationship with the landscape, bridging for us between modern life and our history by providing, as closely as possible, experiences that evoke our empathy and understanding of previous eras.
Why: Clean water contributes to many cultural practices. The Catawba use water in their spiritual practices, clean rivers and streams won’t pollute important shellfish harvest areas. Clean water is also fishable and swimmable, cultural activities important to Americans of all ethnic backgrounds.
Why: Longleaf pine was the ecosystem was predominant at the time of colonialization, so it contributes to both Native American’s ability to experience the landscape of their historical cultural heritage. It’s also important to experience the type of landscape settlers experienced with westward expansion, then niche economic activities like turpentining, which is no longer practiced anywhere in the U.S.
I’m excited to see us moving forward with the development of the Blueprint and bringing together the natural and cultural resource conservation community to craft a plan for the future sustainability of the South Atlantic. The blueprint development workshops are open to anyone who wishes to attend, so don’t forget to register. They will be in Raleigh (Oct 22, 23) and Savannah (Nov 19, 20). This will be a great way to use your local knowledge of places, ecosystems, and conservation opportunities to chart the future of the land, freshwater, ocean, and cultural heritage we’re all working to conserve