U.S. Landcare Delivers Triple Bottom Line

Six-month-old organization is modeled after successful effort in Australia.

"We need a landcare initiative in the United States because many of our young people believe food comes from the fast food outlet," declares Dan Durett, board president, U.S. Landcare Initiative. "Our challenge is to show them the connection between where food comes from and land stewardship initiatives."

Durett spoke Tuesday during the second general session of the 59th annual meeting of the National Association Conservation Districts in Atlanta. "U.S. Landcare delivers the triple bottom line — environmental, social and economic benefits from caring for the land," he points out.

Dan Durett, board president, Council for U.S. Landcare Initiative

According to the U.S. Landcare Web site, the Landcare movement began in 1986 when a group of Australian farmers teamed up with local conservationists to find solutions to common environmental concerns. This community conservation movement has now expanded to 12 nations around the globe, with over 4,000 Landcare groups participating in community-based natural resource management projects.

U.S. Landcare, which was formed six months ago, is building on the experience of Landcare Australia — action by local communities, continues Durett. "There is a lot of good work going on but there is also competing efforts and duplication of effort.

"U.S. Landcare unites people to take action, brings parties and competing interests together," he adds. "Our mission states it clearly: ••to support private/public partnerships capable of delivering sustained improvements in economic, social and environmental outcomes through land stewardship initiatives, and to promote and enhance a national land care ethic.'"

The board is working on a logo for U.S. Landcare, says Durett. It will be modeled after the "caring hands" logo used in Australia. "It shows ethics and responsibility and is widely recognized."

For more information on U.S. Landcare go to www.landcareus.org.

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