In this book, the author traces the notion of the ecosystem from its early application in American land conservation through the modern approach to natural resources management. He makes the case that the classic ecosystem concept is as deeply ingrained in the American conservation movement as it is deeply flawed. As a result, many present-day land protection efforts are fixated on the preservation of an ideal set of species as a coherent and sustainable unit, even as ecological research increasingly suggests that no such unit exists.
Through critical analysis of ecosystem management in theory and practice, the book presents an argument for re-framing the human relationship with ecological systems to embrace, rather than suppress, the forces of change.
From the reviews: "This new volume may be slender, but brevity, coupled with clarity, is a virtue here. The book focuses on 'ecological protection and management, in the face of our changing concept of the ecosystem.' ! The simple, lucid prose sustains the reader, making complexity easy to grasp. This book is slated to become a must read for students, conservation professionals, and citizen activists. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers." (K. B. Sterling, Choice, Vol. 48 (8), April, 2011)
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