The idea that national park managers should be thinking across borders is not new, but the worldwide recognition of the need to do so at the landscape scale is. A combination of findings from the conservation science disciplines has identified coordinated planning and management actions across political borders as essential components of a landscape-scale approach to conservation. At the dawn of the 21st century, we have awakened to a new view in which large, natural resource–based national parks have become the indispensable centerpiece of a landscape-scale approach to conservation.
For park managers this recognition necessitates considering how a park’s actions fit into a broader context, including the allocation of limited resources both within and outside park borders. An understanding of how large landscape conservation came to be the new imperative and what it means for the future of wild nature will help park managers to make better-informed decisions that lead to a more sustainable future for the national parks and the species and processes they protect.