Bioregional Mapping

Provisional Mapping of Bioregions for Community Development

  • Provisional Mapping of Bioregions for Community Development

    Posted by Paul Cereghino on January 7, 2024 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve been getting a strong hankering for writing, a short paper proposing, a provisional framework of bioregions within Cascadia. This could put a rational system on the table for how to think about place-based conceptualization and by being provisional, would invite discussion, and could be a basis for doing community development work around a clear hypothesis of place identity (and perhaps inform the asset mapping activity).

    My provisional framework would integrate:

    1/ watershed boundaries

    2/ population centers

    3/ travel distance and difficulty

    4/ historical tribal language groups

    5/ salmon populations and genetics (as keystone species)

    6/ changes in the nature of the common resource base.

    Boundaries would be a little ambiguous, and work would focus on the central features of places rather than their edges.

    Would this be welcome? @cascadiabrandon

    It could result in an image map for a website page, and a proposed website group creation process?

    It would build on this previous work…

    With data available here: (warning big KMZ file download)

    Paul Cereghino replied 5 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • cascadiabrandon

    January 7, 2024 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I’d recommend, sharing this in the bioregional mapping group:

    • Paul Cereghino

      January 7, 2024 at 6:42 pm

      I was able to edit the discussion, and change the forum easily. That was some nice fluidity.

  • Paul Cereghino

    January 8, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Here’s some sketches… I must really be procrastinating other stuff to find time to do this.

    This is suggesting three levels of organization, by city state (by polygon), by region (color coded) and by landscape with orange lines. @juliewolf @cascadiabrandon

    I think that city state blobs could be further subdivided… for example nooksack AKA Whatcom could be divided into the forks, the flats, and chuckanut mountain in a lightly populated hill-country between Skagit and Nookack. The relevance of the border, and Lummi Sovereign Lands are also important to consider.

    Similarly, Fidalgo could be considered the seaport of the Skagit, a border settlement between San Juan and Skagit.
    By contrast it makes sense to divide the megapolis roughly in three… With the North being areas closely associated with the North and the Snohomish Basin, Central being associated with the Duwamish-Green-Cedar, South Seattle, Renton, etc… , and Southern Megapolis being most Tacoma, Puyallup.

    I would question giving a City an identity as a bioregional place, because through a bioregional frame a city is an unsustainable ecological parasite.
    Does our site shake up our understandings of place, or do we represent more legible dominant narratives that cities are viable places?

  • Paul Cereghino

    January 8, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    Update… starting to show ease of connection among places.

    • Julie

      January 8, 2024 at 9:15 pm

      Liking the shakeup of place identification toward land expressions vs cities (the dominant narrative). @cascadiabrandon this may be an invitation to rethink and rename our communities and their parent Bioregions when we make groups.

  • Paul Cereghino

    January 8, 2024 at 9:32 pm

    Here’s the latest version of the map…. I think I am done for now until I get my GIS back up and running…. but here is a stop gap. You can lump and split as you please, but this is a stab at thinking about clusters of places. Working on an essay about bioregional places.

    An example of this reframing… the Portland is the central feature of the Willamette confluence which is in the lower Columbia. At Portland, the Willamette is tidally influenced, and expresses the oceanic pulsing of the Columbia River. Portland as a city is just a dead patch of industrial land, that cannot possibly produce enough food to support it populations. Portland is also just a legal artifice, with the sprawling Beaverton, Hillsdale, Gresham, Vancouver, etc… a industrialized landscape at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers only defined by arbitrary jurisdictional boundaries.

    However, Portland is legible to modern industrial humans, who think that Portland is better than Gresham because it has more “culture” and so it is also a hotspot of people who say they want to think bioregionally. But to make the thing called Portland into a viable bioregion requires some careful consideration of the surrounding farmland, rapidly shrinking. The valleys of the Sandy, Clackamas, Tualatin all converge. My ancestors were Italian war refugees that fed Portland it vegetables grown on Columbia River Silt.

    It is quite a bit upstream before you are in what I would call the Willamette Valley… near Salem, Albany, Corvallis…. where the Santiam enters, and farther still to the Upper Valley where the forks converge around Eugene.

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