There is a growing recognition that cultural resources should be viewed as part of the larger landscape. The concept that there is a unity of nature and culture has created a significant opportunity for cultural resource practitioners to contribute to the new field of landscape scale conservation. And there are compelling reasons to partner up with this emerging movement. The nature conservation field has long recognized that threats to natural resources occur at multiple and much larger spatial scales than those usually addressed in cultural resource preservation. Ecosystems are adversely affected by impacts that transcend political and disciplinary boundaries. Threats include urban expansion, air and water pollution, deforestation, agriculture intensification, mineral extraction, and of course climate change. The nation’s cultural heritage faces the same threats.
Responding with a landscape or regional approach is a better match to the scope of the problem. It can also be argued that adding a cultural dimension to large landscapes enriches the heritage value of a place and engages residents and visitors in stewardship efforts.