, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 153-160
Date: 02 Dec 2011

Understanding Restoration Volunteering in a Context of Environmental Change: In Pursuit of Novel Ecosystems or Historical analogues?

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Introduction

The speed, scope and intensity of landscape-scale transformations in ecologically vulnerable environments around the globe has led various government and non-government organizations to pursue what has been broadly termed ‘ecological restoration.’ Ecological restoration has been a contested issue for some time, with the question of whether to restore fundamental to the debate. Some authors argue against intervention altogether on the grounds that restoration is yet another expression of the arrogant idea that humans can dominate and control nature (Elliot 1982; Katz 2000; for a critique see Light 2000).

The question of what to restore to is a second contested domain. Some have suggested using advanced restoration technologies to restore damaged wilderness areas in a way that allows them to return to their pre-disturbance state (Throop and Purdom 2006). The idea of the contemporary existence of a ‘historical wilderness’ state to which one might endeavour to return degraded en