Title page for ETD etd-04302008-101532

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kimmel, Courtney E.
Author's Email Address cekimmel@vt.edu
URN etd-04302008-101532
Title Rural Land in Transition: A Role for Community Landcare
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Luke, Timothy W. Committee Chair
Hoon, Parakh Committee Member
Robertson, David Committee Member
  • Landcare
  • landscape change
  • multifunctionality
Date of Defense 2008-04-29
Availability restricted
Many rural communities in the United States are experiencing a transition away from traditional conceptions of agrarian lifestyles and landscapes, and are increasingly faced with a new set of values, desires, and perspectives being brought in by new residents. This change in land use and land ownership presents opportunities as well as challenges to rural areas. This paper explores the some of the grounds behind some of the changes taking place, specifically in a political economic context, and the effect these changes are having on rural landscapes and the communities they support. In the face of a changing perception of ‘rural’, I argue that it is important to acknowledge and foster respect for a plurality of values and desires for the land, both in how productivity of the land is conceptualized, as well as the approaches taken to manage these changes into a sustainable future. Community Landcare is one approach emerging in the United States, and presents a model to foster a sense of community in a multifunctional landscape, while providing the forum for landowners to maintain their individual values while coming together with a shared interest in ‘caring for the land’. A case study of the Catawba Valley and its developing Catawba Landcare group illustrates these connections.
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