Pennsylvania’s Conservation Landscapes: A Pioneering Model for Large Landscape Conservation and Community Revitalization

Thursday, October 23, 2014: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Polaris C (Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center)
A decade ago the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources launched a “Conservation Landscape” program with the belief that a broader, regional approach could profoundly impact local communities while advancing the protection of important natural assets. Adopting an integrated approach of working with state parks and forests, the landscapes surrounding these public lands, and the communities interwoven therein, DCNR has used this program to drive strategic investments around themes of conservation, community revitalization and outdoor recreation in special landscapes across Pennsylvania. Seven such Conservation Landscapes have been designated.

The Conservation Landscape work is value-driven and place-based. The seven unique Conservation Landscapes share a vibrant sense of place and rich natural assets. As such, DCNR prioritizes a highly collaborative process: Local organizations, in public-private partnership with DCNR, lead each effort on the ground, ensuring community engagement and empowerment. Though DCNR launched the program, the emphasis is on local partners collaborating in conservation and community revitalization.

With this program Pennsylvania has emerged as a leader in implementing landscape-scale approaches, and is pioneering a model of public investment in large landscape conservation. This session will introduce the Conservation Landscape program, underscoring the program’s history and the philosophy behind it, as well as the model DCNR has used to implement its vision. Local partners that are leading three of the Conservation Landscapes will offer specific insights and lessons learned from experiences working with this model in three different contexts across the state: the Susquehanna Riverlands, the Pennsylvania Wilds, and the South Mountain Partnership.

Session Chair:
Lauren Imgrund
3:15 PM
Implementing Large Landscape Conservation: Crafting and Launching Pennsylvania's Conservation Landscape Program
Lauren Imgrund, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
3:35 PM
The Pennsylvania Wilds – Strategic Investments Paying Dividends for Rural Communities
Meredith Hill, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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