Apologies for the delay in posting another blog, but I’ve been away in the field enjoying old-growth ironbark forests, long-unburnt box forests, grassland grazing exclosures, regrowth mallee and more. All of which have prompted lots of ideas for future posts.
In the interim, here are three ‘must read’ links from two fantastic vegetation bloggers, which you are sure to enjoy. All three posts highlight the importance of the way we think when we talk about ‘grasslands’, ‘restoration’, ‘conservation’ and ‘functionality’.
The first post, by Chris Helzer, The right metaphor for prairie restoration, is a superb essay on goal setting in ecological restoration. If you manage or restore natural ecosystems you must read this blog. Chris concludes:
At first glance, choosing the appropriate metaphor for prairie restoration may seem insignificant compared to other challenges we face in grassland conservation. However, if we’re going to successfully restore the viability of fragmented prairies, we can’t afford to waste time and effort worrying about whether or not we’ve matched pre-European settlement condition, or any other historical benchmark. Instead, we need to focus on patching the essential systems back together.
After all, we’re not building for the past, we’re building for the future.
The second post by John Morgan, The basics of repeat photography, compares old and new photographs to document 30 years of changes in an endangered grassland. The magnitude of the change is extraordinary, and the comparison highlights the chasm between our current vision of a ‘good quality grassland’ and what actually existed in the past. This comparison alone highlights the importance of Chris’s post on setting goals that look forward rather than back. And while you visiting John’s site, make sure you read another of his recent posts on local provenance; it’s a cracker.
A year or so ago, I began a post on grassland restoration with two great quotes.
If you never change your mind, why have one? ~ Edward de Bono
Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
If these three blogs don’t make you think deeply (let alone change your mind) about the way you conserve and restore natural ecosystems then, I’d argue, maybe you shouldn’t be conserving and restoring natural ecosystems.
Read and enjoy!