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Nature by Design : People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration - Eric Higgs

Nature by Design

People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration

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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.

"If you are looking for an up-to-date vision of environmental restoration that is both principled and pragmatic, read this book. Higgs's interweave of case studies and thoughtfully informed, multidisciplinary argument is all the stronger for its avoidance of easy answers."--Lawrence Buell, Harvard University, author of *The Environmental Imagination* and *Writing for an Endangered World* " Nature by Design is a figurative compass indicating a direction that leads towards altered, healing relations between humankind and the larger, older, and increasingly fragile natural world. As Higgs notes, to dare set out on that course is as much a calling as a profession." Max Oelschlaeger, F.B. McAllister Endowed Chair in Community, Culture, and Environment, Northern Arizona University, author of The Idea of Wilderness " Nature by Design is a wonderful book--an eloquent, wise, and useful guide to the potentials and ambiguities of ecological restoration. By connecting nature, community, memory, and intention so artfully, Eric Higgs has redefined the field." David W. Orr, Environmental Studies Program, Oberlin College "Nicholsen gives us an honest and creative account of the challenges we face as members of an ecologically dysfunctional society and the opportunities to heal ourselves and the world. Especially useful for instructors who've learned that ecological realism too often disempowers students instead of building capacities for personal and societal transformation."--Max Oelschlaeger, F.B. McAllister Endowed Chair in Community, Culture, and Environment, Northern Arizona University, author of The Idea of Wilderness "*Nature by Design* is a figurative compass indicating a direction that leads towards altered, healing relations between humankind and the larger, older, and increasingly fragile natural world. As Higgs notes, to dare set out on that course is as much a calling as a profession."--Max Oelschlaeger, F.B. McAllister Endowed Chair in Community, Culture, and Environment, Northern Arizona University, author of The Idea of WildernessPlease note: The second sentence may be omitted for space reasons.

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
Outline of the Bookp. 9
A Tale of Two Wildernesses: Jasper National Park, Meet Disney Worldp. 15
The Bear in the Kitchenp. 16
The Palisadep. 22
A Landscape of Threatsp. 27
Freak Landscapesp. 35
Restoring an Idea or a Place?p. 40
Wilderness as Themep. 46
Colonizing the Imaginationp. 49
Celebration?p. 52
One Wilderness or Two?p. 55
Boundary Conditionsp. 59
Florid(ian) Imagesp. 59
Meandering Ambitions: The Kissimmee River (Florida) Restorationp. 64
Beyond the Ecological Curtain: The Morava River Restoration, Slovak Republicp. 68
Gardening or Restoration? The Robert Starbird Dorney Garden, Ontario, Canadap. 73
Normal Historyp. 78
Contingency and Idealsp. 82
What is Ecological Restoration?p. 93
Words and Taxomonyp. 96
The Duck Testp. 101
A Legacy of Definitionsp. 107
Process and Productp. 110
Assisted Recoveryp. 112
Managementp. 116
Historical Range of Variabilityp. 118
Sustainable Cultural Practicesp. 119
Ecological Integrityp. 122
The Evolution of Words and Worldsp. 124
Historicity and Reference in Ecological Restorationp. 131
Photographing the Pastp. 132
Nostalgiap. 143
Narrative Continuityp. 145
Placep. 148
Time Depthp. 154
Reference Conditionsp. 158
Taking History Seriouslyp. 170
Denaturing Restorationp. 179
Lines across the Pathp. 179
Commodificationp. 188
A Taut Line: What Kind of Science Do Ecological Restorationists Require?p. 195
The Commodification of Naturep. 203
The Commodification of Practicep. 206
The Promise and Problems of Ecological Restorationp. 214
Focal Restorationp. 225
Discovery Islandp. 226
Ecocultural Restorationp. 236
Focal Restorationp. 241
Ritual and Restorationp. 249
Participation in Restorationp. 255
Landscape Coevolutionp. 259
Nature by Designp. 265
Remembrances of Landscapes Pastp. 265
The Ambiguity of Designp. 270
Wild Designp. 277
Restoration as Conversation: A Storied Landscapep. 285
Notesp. 291
Bibliographyp. 321
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262582261
ISBN-10: 0262582260
Series: The MIT Press
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 358
Published: 1st June 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.5