Re-thinking rural-amenity ecologies for environmental management in the Anthropocene

Cooke, B and Lane, R 2015, 'Re-thinking rural-amenity ecologies for environmental management in the Anthropocene', Geoforum, vol. 65, pp. 232-242.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Re-thinking rural-amenity ecologies for environmental management in the Anthropocene
Author(s) Cooke, B
Lane, R
Year 2015
Journal name Geoforum
Volume number 65
Start page 232
End page 242
Total pages 11
Publisher Pergamon Press
Abstract The migration of lifestyle-orientated landholders (amenity migrants) to rural landscapes is resulting in the production of new rural ecologies. To date, the future implications of these ecologies for environmental management have been framed largely in 'traditional' conservation biology terms, focusing on how we can conserve or restore natural environments to a past ecological benchmark. However, the Anthropocene provides an opportunity to critically examine how we can progress environmental management in a way that locates ecologies as emergent products of human-environment interaction through time. We extend from Tim Ingold's work on wayfaring to position people and plants in environmental management as cohabitants who are traversing a world that is continually in the making. We conducted qualitative research in the hinterlands of Melbourne, Australia, involving narrative interviews with landholders and walking their property with them, using a form of participant observation called the 'walkabout' method. We found that the conservation aspirations of amenity migrants were mediated by the landscape histories that were embodied in the plants they engaged with on their property. These embodied landscape histories served to structure the trajectory of ecological emergence in which landholders were a part. We develop the concept of 'landscape legacy' to explain how past actions and future aspirations come together in management practice to produce novel and often unanticipated ecologies. Landscape legacy grounds the Anthropocene in everyday environments, capturing the need to progress environmental management as a wild experiment in rural-amenity landscapes, focusing on ecological form, function, relationship and process.
Subject Human Geography not elsewhere classified
Environmental Management
Social and Cultural Geography
Keyword(s) Amenity migration
Anthropocene
Environmental management
Exurban
Nonhuman agency
Temporality
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.08.007
Copyright notice © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0016-7185
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