Science Advisory Committee Reports

Celebrating 50 Years Planning for the Next
A Brief History of the Natural Areas Movement

In celebration of the Natural Areas Association's 50 years of supporting practitioners who conserve and steward natural areas across North America, we offer the following brief history of the natural areas movement. This is excerpted from a recent report of NAA's Science Advisory Committee submitted to the NAA Board of Directors titled, Natural Areas in the Twenty-first Century (August 2022). This full report will be published in upcoming months.

Natural Areas in the 21st Century cover
Natural Areas in the Twenty-first Century (PDF)

The world has changed considerably since the natural areas movement began in the early 20th century, as has our understanding of what the future might bring in terms of changed climate and other environmental conditions. This paper represents the initial findings of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Natural Areas Association (NAA).


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