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Legitimizing Militarization or Legitimate Conservation? Collateral Value and Landscapes of the Iron Curtain Borderlands

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Part of the Landscape Series book series (LAEC,volume 25)

Abstract

For most of the twentieth century, conservation efforts around the world were largely modeled after the pattern established in North America of protecting resource areas, such as forests and rangelands, or protecting wildlands that privileged rugged aesthetics and recreational opportunities. In recent decades, new forms of conservation have come into clearer focus, including the transition of militarized landscapes into new land uses dedicated to conservation. This chapter examines how changes along the Iron Curtain borderlands illustrate this type of conversion, as the region increasingly receives acclaim as the Green Belt of Europe. Examples here in central Europe, and others in North America and East Asia, challenge traditional notions of conservation in a variety of ways, but also contribute to new conservation strategies that may help reconnect people to places, even places long known for their contamination or danger. The mix of social and natural qualities at these militarized landscapes generates a diverse set of conservation practices that depend upon renegotiating ideas of public safety, beauty, restoration, and preservation. The recasting of such landscapes can be understood variably as a form of legitimating militarization or as a legitimate approach to conserving biodiversity. In either case, coming to terms with the particular contexts of politics, ecology, and history in these places proves essential if we are to adequately understand the collateral – and also conflicting – values generated by the relationship between conservation and militarization.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-18991-4_9
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Notes

  1. 1.

    This approach has also been subject to critique – for instantiating an improper separation of nature and society; for holding to an outdated notion of nature itself; and for privileging the protection of ostensibly pristine, “unimpaired” lands at the expense of indigenous or other populations that have made a home in these lands – but the national park ideal remains widely embraced as a means of protecting spectacular tracts of land. See, for example, Cronon 1996; Spence 1999; Jacoby 2001.

  2. 2.

    Durant, p. 78, cites a 1989 DOD estimate of $42.5 billion.

  3. 3.

    Mouflon in Cyprus are considered a distinct subspecies by the IUCN, but have a complicated genealogy and history of geographic of distribution; see for example, Pedrosa et al. 2005.

  4. 4.

    On a related question, see Smallwood 2014, p. 302.

  5. 5.

    U.S. National Wildlife Refuges in general are typically open only from dawn to dusk, and may have designated entrance locations and signed boundaries, but most are free to the public, have few if any entrance locations staffed by agency employees, and many are large enough that boundaries are generally unmonitored and porous.

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Correspondence to David G. Havlick .

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Havlick, D.G. (2019). Legitimizing Militarization or Legitimate Conservation? Collateral Value and Landscapes of the Iron Curtain Borderlands. In: Lookingbill, T., Smallwood, P. (eds) Collateral Values. Landscape Series, vol 25. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-18991-4_9

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