More Than Meets the Eye: Integrating the Management of Landscape Character and Archaeological Resources for Culturally Significant Landscapes

Chaco Canyon

Publication: Advances in Archaeological Practice, Vol. 11 No. 1

Author: Sarah H. Schlanger

Date of Publication: February 2023

PDF File: Schlanger-2023-More-Than-Meets-the-Eye-Integrating-the-Managemen.pdf



Culturally significant landscapes, which evoke and promote strong feelings of attachment among their constituencies and advocates, pose a management challenge for federal agencies. Current cultural resources laws and policies focus largely on the physical characteristics of individual sites and features. I call here for a management approach that differs from current practice in several important ways. First, it recognizes the power of landscapes and landscape character. Drawing from both wilderness and park management, it calls for the identification and preservation of landscape characteristics, and the development of landscape-level inventories that can identify current landscape condition. Finally, it recognizes that how a landscape is experienced by its constituencies and advocates is a measure of management effectiveness. For management to succeed, management approaches must recognize and respect the core values and experiences that are at the heart of culturally significant landscapes.