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Philosophy Major Publishes Article in Ecological Restoration Journal

Philosophy Major Publishes Article in Ecological Restoration Journal

Reggie Anderson ’13, a philosophy major at CC, recently published an article in the journal Ecological Restoration. The article, “History and Values in Ecological Restoration Workshop,” co-authored by David Havlick of UCCS, appears in the current March 2013 issue. It reports on a June 2012 workshop hosted at Colorado College, which was sponsored in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The workshop focused on restoration in landscapes with complex histories, shaped by the ongoing interaction between humans and nature. These “hybrid landscapes” challenge traditional frameworks for ecological restoration, which focus on restoration of ecosystems to conditions existing prior to a disturbance caused by human beings. Hybrid landscapes, by contrast, are characterized by blended natural and cultural histories, which challenge the identification of pre-disturbance “reference conditions.”  The aim of the workshop was to explore history and values in hybrid landscapes, and how they are relevant to identifying restoration goals.

The workshop gave particular attention to the restoration and re-naturalization of former military sites in the United States that are now managed as National Wildlife Refuges. In recent decades hundreds of military installations have been closed, and of those, 21 have been converted to national wildlife refuges. These conversions raise pressing questions about society’s conceptions of nature and the ethics of restoration.