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Restoring Layered LandscapesHistory, Ecology, and Culture$
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Marion Hourdequin and David G. Havlick

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190240318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190240318.001.0001

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Ecological Restoration, Continuity, and Change

Ecological Restoration, Continuity, and Change

Negotiating History and Meaning in Layered Landscapes

(p.13) Chapter 2 Ecological Restoration, Continuity, and Change
Restoring Layered Landscapes

Marion Hourdequin

Oxford University Press

In light of rapid environmental change, the role of history in mediating our relationship to the natural world is increasingly contentious. For ecological restoration, the challenge is particularly acute, as restoration has traditionally looked to the past in establishing goals and judging success. Here, the debate over history often centers on two opposing poles: one in which historical, predisturbance conditions remain the touchstone for restoration, and the other in which both history and nature are viewed as passé. By breaking down traditional binaristic categories, hybrid landscapes such as former military sites can disrupt these polarities, opening new possibilities for ecological restoration. This chapter argues that national wildlife refuges at former US military sites—and the diverse narratives surrounding them—offer the potential to creatively explore relationships between nature, culture, and history in ecological restoration, showing how natural and cultural histories remain relevant, even in the face of significant environmental change.

Keywords:   environmental change, ecological restoration, predisturbance conditions, narratives, hybrid landscapes, history, military sites, national wildlife refuges

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