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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish. For a full list of translated articles, please click here.

BY JESSICA BRIDGER

FROM THE JANUARY 2020 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

It is likely you have never heard of Paul Mathews, but if you ski it is probable that you have been on a slope that he had a hand in designing. In 1975, he founded Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners, “Ecosign” being a portmanteau of ecology and design. Whistler, the downhill and backcountry ski hub in British Columbia, has been his home turf since the 1970s, and Ecosign has worked on more than 400 ski resorts around the world.

Mathews was responding to the state of skiing in the 1970s when he founded Ecosign. Ski areas had evolved over the years, some growing from ad hoc paths down the sides of mountains into massive areas, choked by car traffic on the weekends, full of stairs and narrow, poorly designed ski slopes, or pistes, with disorganized ski villages at their base. Infrastructure was insufficient; environmental degradation was rife. Some resorts were made by tearing into the landscape, moving large amounts of rock and soil, cutting excessive numbers of trees, ignoring flora and fauna. Few undertook adequate transportation planning to handle weekly visitor flows. Other ski areas suffered from fragmented ownership, with multiple operators in single small town or village settings, hampering the investment needed to keep facilities modern and ensure longevity and employment. Four decades after founding Ecosign, Mathews knows what to do with both challenges—how to plan for sustainable futures and growth and how to establish completely new ski resorts in places that have none. The company is about 20 people and includes landscape architects, architects, engineers, soil scientists, and MBAs, among others, who work around the world from Ecosign’s base at Whistler. “There is lot of work in China, the Balkans, Turkey—anywhere where they have mountains, snow, and incomes that are rising,” Mathews says. (more…)

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BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER / PHOTOGRAPHY BY GABRIELLA MARKS

With her one-woman practice, Radicle, Christie Green works to repair our relationship with nature—including the animals and plants we eat.

FROM THE FEBRUARY 2019 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

The stars were still out when Christie Green, ASLA, parked her Tundra and turned off the engine. We were somewhere near Glorieta Mesa, Game Management Unit 45, about 30 minutes southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the moonlight, I could make out the bristle-brush tops of ponderosa and piñon pine. I grabbed the camouflage gear Green had lent me and got out of the truck. The April air was just a few degrees above freezing, and the only sounds were the howls of coyotes and the quiet murmurs of cattle somewhere in the valley. As the chill began to seep in, I tugged on my gloves and cowl. I had no idea how long we were going to be out there.

Green, who for the past five years has run a one-woman landscape design practice in Santa Fe called Radicle, had agreed to take me turkey hunting. Almost all of her projects, (more…)

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From the November 2013 issue of LAM:

By Constance Casey

A couple of million wild turkey hunters in full camouflage go out to the forests and meadows every year to try out various seductive techniques to lure the wary birds into range. Meanwhile, paradoxically, there are turkeys of the same species (Meleagris gallopavo) boldly approaching human beings. In fact some of the birds are chasing runners and bicyclists, digging up flower beds, consuming farmers’ seed corn, and strolling through parking lots and across backyards. More than a few homeowners, if it were legal, could plug a wild turkey from their back decks without donning camouflage or learning turkey calls. The birds seem to have learned where they can coexist with unthreatening human beings, and it’s getting on our nerves. These birds are big; an adult male can be 16 to 24 pounds with a wingspan of close to five feet, and they have sharp spurs on their legs. They can run up to 20 miles per hour on their velociraptor legs and fly at 55 miles per hour in bursts. They’re the largest North American ground-nesting bird, and the bolder ones are on the way to becoming as much of a nuisance to some as Canada geese.

In the wild the turkeys are easily spooked by unusual sights or sounds, so the hopeful shooters cover themselves in drab camouflage from head to toe, including a face mask with a narrow eye opening—hijab for hunters. Turkey hunting is one of the fastest-growing shooting sports; the National Wild Turkey Federation counts 2.6 million turkey hunters. Part of the appeal has to be that it’s a performance. The extremely skilled use their own voices to imitate turkey calls; others make the sounds with a wooden box that has a noisemaking handle or a slate that’s struck with a wooden stick. Whichever method, it’s not easy to re-create the gobble of a randy tom, the purr of a contented female, the cackle of a receptive hen, or the companionable clucks of flock talk.

(more…)

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