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Restoring Layered Landscapes brings together historians, geographers, philosophers, and interdisciplinary scholars to explore ecological restoration in landscapes with complex histories shaped by ongoing interactions between humans and nature. For many decades, ecological restoration – particularly in the United States – focused on returning degraded sites to conditions that prevailed prior to human influence. This model has been broadened in recent decades, and restoration now increasingly focuses on the recovery of ecological functions and processes rather than on returning a site to a specific historical state.
Nevertheless, neither the theory nor the practice of restoration has fully come to terms with the challenges of restoring layered landscapes, where nature and culture shape one another in deep and ongoing relationships. Former military and industrial sites provide paradigmatic examples of layered landscapes. Many of these sites are not only characterized by natural ecosystems worth preserving and restoring, but also embody significant political, social, and cultural histories.
Restoring Layered Landscapes grapples with the challenges of restoring and interpreting such complex sites: What should we aim to restore in such places? How can restoration adequately take the legacies of human use into account? Should traces of the past be left on the landscape, and how can interpretive strategies be creatively employed to make visible the complex legacies of an open pit mine or chemical weapons manufacturing plant? Restoration aims to create new value, but not always without loss. Restoration often disrupts existing ecosystems, infrastructure, and artifacts.
The chapters in Restoring Layered Landscapes consider what restoration can tell us more generally about the relationship between continuity and change, and how the past can and should inform our thinking about the future. These insights, in turn, will help foster a more thoughtful approach to human-environment relations in an era of unprecedented anthropogenic global environmental change.
Chapter 1: Ecological Restoration and Layered Landscapes
Marion Hourdequin and David Havlick
Part One: Theoretical Perspectives on the Restoration of Layered Landscapes
Chapter 2: Ecological Restoration, Continuity, and Change: Negotiating History and Meaning in Layered Landscapes
Chapter 3: The Different Faces of History in Postindustrial Landscapes
Chapter 4: Nature and Our Sense of Loss
Chapter 5: Layered Industrial Sites: Experimental Landscapes and the Virtues of Ignorance
Part Two: Approaching Layered Landscapes: Restoration in Context
Chapter 6: Restoring Wildness to the Scottish Highlands: A Landscape of Legacies
Chapter 7: Environmental Versus Heritage Stewardship: Nova Scotia's Annapolis River and the Canadian Heritage River System
Chapter 8: 'Get Lost in the Footnotes of History': The Restorative Afterlife of Rocky Flats, Colorado
Chapter 9: Restoration, History, and Values at Transitioning Military Sites in the U.S.
Part Three: Representation and Interpretation of Layered Landscapes
Chapter 10: Slavery, Freedom, and the Cultural Landscape: Restoration and Interpretation of Monocacy National Battlefield
Chapter 11: Re-Naturalization and Industrial Heritage in America's Largest Superfund Site: The Case of the Warm Springs Ponds in Montana's Clark Fork Superfund Site
Chapter 12: Material Transformations: Urban Art and Environmental Justice
Chapter 13: Layered Landscapes, Conflicting Narratives and Environmental Art: Painful Memories, Embarrassing Histories of Place
Chapter 14: Layered Landscapes as Models for Restoration and Conservation
David Havlick and Marion Hourdequin
David Havlick is Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Marion Hourdequin is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College.