PLACE, SACRED PLACES, AND SENSE OF PLACE IN RELATION TO GEOLOGIC HERITAGE
Sacredness implies enduring personal, familial, or ceremonial relationships to the land, typically encoded in oral (and sometimes graphic or written) stories and histories. To indigenous peoples, a sacred place is not necessarily a wholly prohibited or private place, but one that should be given respect, reverence, and protection; and its access and use should not conflict with traditional uses.
The sense of place, a theoretically robust and increasingly well-studied construct that incorporates meanings and attachments affixed to any given place, is one way of operationalizing the human connection to Earth. Sense of place can be studied, characterized, measured, and assessed; making it potentially very useful in defining, establishing, maintaining, and evaluating geologic heritage sites (particularly sacred sites) in the USA and anywhere else in the world.