Holmes Rolston, "Restoration"
- WHAT RESTORATION IS NOT
- Not fakes (Elliot) or artifacts (Katz)
- Not mitigation (destroy a wetland here, build one over there)
- Not replication: restorations are not replications
- Example of replication:
- Clear-cut a forest, plant a new one. This is a complete
replacement made from scratch, no continuity with the original.
Restoration requires such continuity
- Like replacing the Mona Lisa with a new one, rather than
restoring a damaged Mona Lisa
- Example of restoration: Replanting trees in a selectively cut forest
restores the forest (instead of replicating it)
- WHAT RESTORATION IS
- Nature restoration as an undoing as much as a doing
- Picking up trash, pulling weeds, removing a dam
- Nature restorations are rehabilitations that involve self-healing (unlike
- Nature restoration is like a doctor setting a broken arm; setting it so it
can heal itself; this is not creating an artificial limb
- If the doctor replaced you arm with an artificial limb, this would be
an artifact, instead of a restoration (a critique of Katz)
- By restoring nature we let it heal itself
- Restorationists more like mid-wives than engineers
- Examples of nature healing itself via human assisted restoration
- Restore a predator who culls the overpopulated deer herd; this allows
the degraded ecosystem to heal
- Naturalness of restored area comes back over time
- Restoration is like an artifact at moment it was deliberately arranged
- But if humans back off and let nature take its course and nature heals
itself and spontaneous natural processes return
- Then naturalness returns (contra Elliott and Katz)
- Still always true that evolutionary history of the human damaged ecosystem
has been interrupted by humans (its wildness has been interrupted)
- In that regard, it's a permanent loss of natural value
- If a Pleistocene human stood here or created this pond, there is still a
loss of natural value?
- Question: Can nature heal itself w/o humans helping hand?
- Sometimes, obviously yes: Bull Island after Hugo
- Sometimes a broken arm won't heal properly without being
set; Is this also true for nature?
- How would an ecosystem with an exterminated predator heal
itself? Disease? Different vegetation?
- Does it make sense to think that over sufficient time (geologic), nature will
fully heal itself?
- Consider the mass extinctions of geological past.
- Question: Does human restoration help nature heal more quickly? Always?
- Do natural processes take over the moment humans leave (either
after the damage or after the restoration)?