Nature by Design: People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration / Edition 1

Nature by Design: People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration / Edition 1

by Eric Higgs
     
 

Ecological restoration is the process of repairing human damage to ecosystems. It involves reintroducing missing plants and animals, rebuilding soils,
eliminating hazardous substances, ripping up roads, and returning natural processes such as fire and flooding to places that thrive on their regular occurrence.
Thousands of restoration projects take place in

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Overview

Ecological restoration is the process of repairing human damage to ecosystems. It involves reintroducing missing plants and animals, rebuilding soils,
eliminating hazardous substances, ripping up roads, and returning natural processes such as fire and flooding to places that thrive on their regular occurrence.
Thousands of restoration projects take place in North America every year. In
Nature by Design, Eric Higgs argues that profound philosophical and cultural shifts accompany these projects. He explores the ethical and philosophical bases of restoration and the question of what constitutes good ecological restoration.

Higgs explains how and why the restoration movement came about, where it fits into the array of approaches to human relationships with the land, and how it might be used to secure a sustainable future. Some environmental philosophers and activists worry that restoration will dilute preservation and conservation efforts and lead to an even deeper technological attitude toward nature. They ask whether even well-conceived restoration projects are in fact just expressions of human will. Higgs prefaces his responses to such concerns by distinguishing among several types of ecological restoration. He also describes a growing gulf between professionals and amateurs.
Higgs finds much merit in criticism about technological restoration projects, which can cause more damage than they undo. These projects often ignore the fact that changing one thing in a complex system can change the whole system. For restoration projects to be successful, Higgs argues, people at the community level must be engaged. These focal restorations bring communities together, helping volunteers develop a dedication to place and encouraging democracy.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262582261
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
06/01/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
357
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Outline of the Book9
1A Tale of Two Wildernesses: Jasper National Park, Meet Disney World15
The Bear in the Kitchen16
The Palisade22
A Landscape of Threats27
Freak Landscapes35
Restoring an Idea or a Place?40
Wilderness as Theme46
Colonizing the Imagination49
Celebration?52
One Wilderness or Two?55
2Boundary Conditions59
Florid(ian) Images59
Meandering Ambitions: The Kissimmee River (Florida) Restoration64
Beyond the Ecological Curtain: The Morava River Restoration, Slovak Republic68
Gardening or Restoration? The Robert Starbird Dorney Garden, Ontario, Canada73
Normal History78
Contingency and Ideals82
3What is Ecological Restoration?93
Words and Taxomony96
The Duck Test101
A Legacy of Definitions107
Process and Product110
Assisted Recovery112
Management116
Historical Range of Variability118
Sustainable Cultural Practices119
Ecological Integrity122
The Evolution of Words and Worlds124
4Historicity and Reference in Ecological Restoration131
Photographing the Past132
Nostalgia143
Narrative Continuity145
Place148
Time Depth154
Reference Conditions158
Taking History Seriously170
5Denaturing Restoration179
Lines across the Path179
Commodification188
A Taut Line: What Kind of Science Do Ecological Restorationists Require?195
The Commodification of Nature203
The Commodification of Practice206
The Promise and Problems of Ecological Restoration214
6Focal Restoration225
Discovery Island226
Ecocultural Restoration236
Focal Restoration241
Ritual and Restoration249
Participation in Restoration255
Landscape Coevolution259
7Nature by Design265
Remembrances of Landscapes Past265
The Ambiguity of Design270
Wild Design277
Restoration as Conversation: A Storied Landscape285
Notes291
Bibliography321
Index335

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