I WANT TO LIE UPON AN OPEN HILLSIDE


This work seeks to reconcile romantic notions of pristine landscapes with the reality that places are marked with human impact in attempt to reflect our cultural values and desires. This work seeks to emphasize the realities of those landscapes as humans, climate change, and natural disasters shape and reshape the landscape. I question the logic of going back to old ecological baselines - steeped in memory, romance, economic and political models - versus creating new ecological baselines that recognize current and potential future realities. Do we rehabilitate sites altered by wildfire, past practices of overgrazing, etc., to what they may have originally looked like when early explorers came West? Or do we create new narratives of nature and wilderness, and design/plan landscapes thinking in terms of what the land and climate will support in the future and thinking of future human needs?


(photo credits: Sandee McGee)