January 01, 2020

Bridging the Nature-Culture Gap: Using Cultural Resource Laws for Environmental Protection

Emily Bergeron

Aldo Leopold once said, “[c]onservation is a state of harmony between men and land,” suggesting a need to bridge the gap between culture and nature. Round River 145 (1966). Such a “holistic” approach to environmental protection, however, requires a multidisciplinary, multiparty process that must address the “environment” as a whole, instead of considering water pollution, air pollution, climate change, and so on in isolation of one another. Many disciplines have attempted to combine social and natural science as a means of explaining and attempting to resolve problems, recognizing the need to cross disciplines. Unfortunately, those creating and implementing the law have not been as willing to abandon reductionist views despite recognition of the complexity of environmental issues.

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