A session titled “Mountain grazing landscapes caught between abandonment, rewilding and agro-environmental bureaucracy. Is there an alternative future?” is being organized by Kenneth Olwig of the Landscape Research Group at the upcoming PECSRL 2016 conference, which will be held in Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austria, from 5–9 September 2016. The Call for Papers (CFP) for the conference is currently open and will close at the end of January, 2016. Details of the session are as follows:

Organizer: Kenneth R. Olwig

Session Title: “Mountain grazing landscapes caught between abandonment, rewilding and agro-environmental bureaucracy. Is there an alternative future?” (S21)

Keywords: Pastoralism, wood pastures, rewilding, land abandonment, agro-environmental bureaucracy

Session Abstract: Session organised by The Landscape Research Group: Mountain pastoralism traditionally involves a fluid mix of environments depending on the season, the age of the animals and a variety of other factors. It may involve free summer grazing on high extensive areas of unbounded treeless hill or mountain commons; spring and autumn grazing in common wood pastures with varying densities of trees; winter grazing and feeding on enclosed meadows, fields and barns on the valley floors. In addition, grazing in distant lowland areas may be important for young animals gaining strength for their future life in the hills and for older animals being prepared for sale. Pastoralism may also involve a blending of genetic material by crossbreeding hardy, but lean mountain breeding stock with weaker, but meatier and/or woollier lowland breeds. Environmental and agricultural bureaucracies, as well as environmentalist rewilders, however, tend to standardize and classify environments within manageable boxes corresponding to particular bounded typological areas (e.g. with regard to the classification and mapping of wood pastures, nature areas or food production districts). The result is that mountain grazing landscapes often fall into the gaps between agricultural, food and environmental policy and support schemes. This contributes to the abandonment of these landscapes and the consequent loss of their cultural and biological value. The papers in this session will examine the nature of these issues in different mountainous or hill environments and discuss possible alternative futures.

Those interested in submitting an abstract will find further details on the submission process, registration costs and important dates on the PECSRL website: http://www.pecsrl2016.com/index.php. Details particular to the session and associated CFP can be found on the following webpage: http://www.pecsrl2016.com/index.php/sessions/19-contributions/68-s21.html