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Social and political issues in ecological restoration

Author(s): Thomas M. Bonnicksen
Year Published: 1994

There are four major questions affecting the future of ecological restoration. The first and most serious question is philosophical. Should we attempt to restore ecosystems? Some people want to separate humans from nature because they believe that human intervention is bad or imperfect. They define "natural" as the absence of human influence. They also think restoration should consist of drawing lines around ecosystems and keeping people out. If this philosophy prevails, ecological restoration has no future. The second question is social. What do we want to restore? The third question is scientific. What can we restore? The fourth question is political. Who decides what we will restore? Large-scale restoration projects cannot begin without answering these questions. This paper explores the implications of these questions.

Citation: Bonnicksen, Thomas M. 1994. Social and political issues in ecological restoration. In: Covington, W. Wallace; DeBano, Leonard F., tech. coords. Sustainable ecological systems: implementing an ecological approach to land management; 1993 July 12-15; Flagstaff, Arizona. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-247. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 108-114.
Topic(s): Management Approaches, Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Conference Proceedings, Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 12415
FRAMES RCS number: 16286
Record updated: Mar 29, 2014