Studio: LA 2002, Landscape Design, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, 2014


Landscape ecologies transcend state, county, and city lines. Birds, terrestrial fauna, and aquatic species know not of political boundaries. Yet perhaps the largest obstacle to regional-scale landscape and habitat planning is disconnect between federal, state, and a local stakeholders. While planning efforts are typically within the jurisdiction of county and state governments, international treaties for habitat creation might present a sort of constitutional loophole. The treaties clause of the Constitution (Article VI, clause 2), sometimes known as the “supremacy clause” makes international treaties the “supreme law of the land” and can therefore give congress the power to pass a law to implement a treaty even if the law would not fall within Congress’ legislative power in the absence of the treaty. Migratory birds helped to test the extents of this law when, in 1918, the US state department negotiated the Migratory Bird Act Treaty with the United Kingdom, enacting laws regulating the hunting of migratory waterfowl, which had previously been within the province of each individual state.

Assuming that the US government ratifies an international treaty habitat creation along the Mississippi Flyway, how might landscape architects reshape regional landscape patterns and patches in order to optimize ecological, cultural and economic processes?

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