Lance Foster (hengruh) wrote,
Lance Foster
hengruh

Bioregionalism and the Helena Area

I have been reading "Life-Place: Bioregional Thought and Practice" by Robert L. Thayer (University of California Press, 2003).

"A bioregion [italics in original] is literally and etymologically a "life-place" - a unique region definable by natural (rather than political) boundaries with a geographic, climatic, hydrological, and ecological character capable of supporting unique human and nonhuman living communities. Bioregions can be variously defined by the geography of watersheds, similar plant and animal ecosystems, and related, identifiable landforms (e.g., particular mountain ranges, prairies, or coastal zones) and by the unique human cultures that grow from natural limits and potentials of the region. Most importantly, the bioregion is emerging as the most logical locus and scale for a sustainable, regenerative community to take root and to take place [italics in original]." (p. 3)

"A number of simultaneous movements toward 'relocalization' are now converging that challenge many of the basic and most dis-placed [as spelled in the original, emphasizing the removal of the notion of an actual place] assumptions of postmodern culture: grassroots watershed conservancies, 'Friends of...' groups for particular natural features, holistic ecosystem management efforts, coordinated resource management plans (CRiMPs), community-supported agricultural establishments, alternative local currencies, farmers' markets --even microbreweries that produce beer with proudly local labels. In particular, a body of theory and technique with great significance to the nature of community life, public citizenship, personal lifestyle, regional planning, ecosystem management, and education is coalescing around the term bioregion [italics in original]." (p. 3).

Here are some examples of the movements and organizations in and around Helena that seem to mesh with this idea:

Growing Friends of Helena. "Growing Friends is an urban tree-planting organization. Its purpose is to enrich the quality of life in the Helena, Montana area with extensive planting of suitable, attractive, diverse, and well-cared-for trees and shrubs. Growing Friends works by funding and conducting planting projects, by educating the public and decision-makers, and by encouraging and assisting local governments."

Friends of Centennial Trail. "The Friends of Centennial Trail are raising funds in conjunction with the city's Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Council and Prickly Pear Land Trust to complete Helena's backbone west-east safe walking and bicycling route from Spring Meadow Lake to East Helena."

Prickly Pear Land Trust. "Prickly Pear Land Trust is an association of community-minded individuals committed to protecting the open space in Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Jefferson Counties in Montana. Founded in 1996, the Trust now has almost 700 active members with backgrounds reflecting the diversity of the area. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, we work cooperatively with willing property owners to conserve our region’s most valuable natural asset…land."

Montana Land Reliance. "The mission of The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) is to partner with landowners to provide permanent protection for private lands that are significant for agricultural production, forest resources, fish and wildlife habitat, and open space....The immediate accomplishments of MLR's conservation work are measured in miles of streambanks and acres of land and habitat protected. The lasting benefits of MLR's work are the perpetuation of a lifestyle and an economy that rely on responsibly managed private land and increasingly valuable Montana open spaces that will continue to nourish the spirit of future generations."

Lewis and Clark Conservation District. "The Lewis & Clark Conservation District is located in Lewis & Clark County, Montana. Encompassing parts of the East Front of the Rocky Mountains and range and crop lands of the Montana plains, the District assists large and small acreage landowners with their management concerns....The mission of the Lewis & Clark Conservation District is to provide leadership in the conservation and wise use of soil, water, and related resources. ...The Lewis & Clark Conservation District is a member of the Montana Association of Conservation Districts."

Helena Farmers' Market

Blackfoot River Brewing Company.

Lewis and Clark Brewing Company.

This list will continue to be developed.
Tags: bioregion, helena
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