Restoration and History
The Search for a Usable Environmental Past
Edited by Marcus Hall
Routledge – 2010 – 330 pages
Once a forest has been destroyed, should one plant a new forest to emulate the old, or else plant designer forests to satisfy our immediate needs? Should we aim to re-create forests, or simply create them? How does the past shed light on our environmental efforts, and how does the present influence our environmental goals? Can we predict the future of restoration?
This book explores how a consideration of time and history can improve the practice of restoration. There is a past of restoration, as well as past assumptions about restoration, and such assumptions have political and social implications. Governments around the world are willing to spend billions on restoration projects – in the Everglades, along the Rhine River, in the South China Sea – without acknowledging that former generations have already wrestled with repairing damaged ecosystems, that there have been many kinds of former ecosystems, and that there are many former ways of understanding such systems. This book aims to put the dimension of time back into our understanding of environmental efforts. Historic ecosystems can serve as models for our restorative efforts, if we can just describe such ecosystems. What conditions should be brought back, and do such conditions represent new natures or better pasts? A collective answer is given in these pages – and it is not a unified answer.
'Reconnecting people to nature is all to the good, and history can help to
make the process more meaningful and effective ecologically.' – Brian Donahue, Brandeis University
'[T]he volume features geographers, sociologists, environmental scientists, historians, anthropologists and paleoecologists working on North America, Europe and East Asia. Readers will be pleased by their skilful interrogation of the idea of restoration and the volume's attentiveness to real-world projects. … Restoration and History exemplifies the benefits of cross-disciplinary dialogue.' – Joshua Specht (Harvard University), Environment and History
'The authors present intriguing ideas that force a larger discussion among academics, practitioners, and students about what it means to live on this on planet.' – James E. Sherow, Kansas State University
List of Figures and Tables. Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1. Tempo and Mode in Restoration. Marcus Hall. Restoration in History. 2. Reflections on Humpty-Dumpty Ecology. David Lowenthal. 3. Spontaneous Rewilding of the Apostle Islands. James Feldman. 4. Changing Forests, Moving Targets in Finland. Timo Myllyntaus. 5. Sidebar: Clementsian Restoration in Yosemite. William Rowley. History in Restoration. 6. Does the Past Matter in Scottish Woodland Restoration? Mairi J. Stewart. 7. Palaeoecology, Management, and Restoration in the Scottish Highlands. Althea Davies. 8. Conservation Lessons from the Holocene Record in "Natural" and "Cultural" Landscapes. Nicki J. Whitehouse. 9. The Shifting Baseline Syndrome in Restoration Ecology. Frans Vera. 10. Regardening and the Rest. Chris Smout. 11. Sidebar: Reforestation, Restoration, and the Birth of the Industrial Tree Farm. Emily K. Brock. Restore To What? Selecting Target States. 12. Informing Ecological Restoration in a Coastal Context. Anita Guerrini & Jenifer E. Dugan. 13. South Yorkshire Fens: Past, Present, and Future. Ian Rotherham & Keith Harrison. 14. Uneasy Relationships between Ecology, History, and Restoration. Jan E Dizard. 15. Sidebar: Designing a Restoration Mega-Project for New York. Mark B. Bain. What To Restore? Selecting Initial States. 16. Reflooding the Japanese Rice Paddy. David Sprague & Nobusuke Iwasaki. 17. American Indian Restoration. David Tomblin. 18. Restoring for Cultural-Ecological Sustainability in Arizona and Connecticut. David G. Casagrande & Miguel Vasquez. 19. Models for Renaturing Brownfield Areas. Lynn M. Westphal, Paul H. Gobster, & Matthias Gross. 20. Sidebar: Conflicting Restoration Goals in the San Francisco Bay. Laura A. Watt. Changing Concepts In Restoration. 21. Nature Without Nurture? Kathy Hodder & James Bullock. 22. Toward a Multiple Vision of Ecological Restoration. Josef Keulartz. 23. Rewilding the Restorer. David Kidner. Implementation: Rewilding, Regardening, & Renaturing. 24. Implementing River Restoration Projects. Daniel McCool. 25. Cloning in Restorative Perspective. Eileen Crist. 26. NLIMBY: No Lions In My Backyard. C. Josh Donlan & Harry W. Greene. Conclusions. 27. Restoring Dirt Under the Fingernails. Eric Higgs. Contributors. References. Index.
Marcus Hall is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Utah. His most recent book, Earth Repair: A Transatlantic History of Environmental Restoration was published by Virginia University Press in 2005. He is winner of the Antoinette Forrester Downing book award, and was awarded a fellowship by the Smithsonian Institute in 2007.