In March 2009, Commonweal Conservancy President Ted O. Harrison submitted a white paper to the Cultural Resource and Historic Preservation Committee of the National Parks Second Century Commission. The National Parks' invitation offered an opportunity to explore the philosophical precedents, organizing principles, and emergent conservation-development practice of Commonweal:
Steps Toward a Practice of Stewardship-based Community Development
"Obligations have no meaning without conscience, and the problem we face is the extension of the social conscience from people to land. No important change in ethics was ever accomplished without an internal change in our intellectual emphasis, loyalties, affections, and convictions. … In our attempt to make conservation easy, we have made it trivial."
- Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic
When Jerry Rogers asked me to lunch on a blustery day in November 2008 to recount the origins and founding ambitions of Commonweal Conservancy, I expected that a loosely structured conversation might satisfy his curiosity and the planning responsibilities of the Second Century National Park Service Commission. But his interests proved more far-reaching than a mealtime chat could properly address, and his questions prompted me to revisit the philosophies that give context to the work of Commonweal Conservancy. My hope is that the Park Service will find value in Commonweal’s unorthodox conservation-based community development work and the journey that has informed it.
The Village at the Galisteo Basin Preserve: Preliminary Phase I Plat Presentation to the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners
Commonweal Conservancy's September 8, 2009, presentation to the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners (BCC) sets forth the development rationale, research, and planning history of the first phase of the proposed village at the Galisteo Basin Preserve (now known as Trenza) and explains Commonweal's request for six variances from the Santa Fe County Development Code. If you would like to view this Power Point Presentation, please contact Commonweal Conservancy at 505.982.0071.