Past Imperfect: Using Historical Ecology and Baseline Data for Contemporary Conservation and Restoration Projects

Sandlos, John and Wiersma, Yolanda and Alagona, Peter S. (2012) Past Imperfect: Using Historical Ecology and Baseline Data for Contemporary Conservation and Restoration Projects. Environmental Philosophy, 9 (1). pp. 49-70. ISSN 2153-8905

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Abstract

Conservation and restoration programs usually involve nostalgic claims about the past, along with calls to return to that past or recapture some aspect of it. Knowledge of history is essential for such programs, but the use of history is fraught with challenges. This essay examines the emergence, development, and use of the “ecological baseline” concept for three levels of biological organization. We argue that the baseline concept is problematic for establishing restoration targets. Yet historical knowledge—more broadly conceived to include both social and ecological processes—will remain essential for conservation and restoration.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12360
Item ID: 12360
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 2012
Date Type: Publication
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