What is Holistic Restoration?
A Quick Introduction
Holistic Restoration offers a practical way to merge wildlife conservation and rewilding with the production of food, timber, fuel and fibre in a way that heals us and restores our world.
We do this by drawing from the depth of knowledge gained over hundreds of years by system scientists with a strong emphasis on ecology. We also take our lead from nature, learning from the ecosystems and farming systems around us today.
For the last 50 years or so ecologists have become fascinated by keystone species. Keystone species have enormous power in ecosystems, primarily through their diet. What they eat creates the landscapes in which they live. For example sea otters living in rich kelp forests along the West coast of North America, Canada, Alaska and stretching across to Russia eat a lot of sea urchins. Sea urchins graze amongst the kelp holdfasts on the rocks below the waves, preyed on by the otters.
Scientists realised however that in areas where the otters vanished so too did the kelp forests. The sea otters kept the urchin population in check and without them the urchins multiplied and grazed the kelp forests back to bare rock. The otters created the kelp forests in which they lived by consuming sea urchins.
The same thing happens in ecosystems around the world, from grey wolves in Yellowstone to sharks in the seas around the world. Its not just predators either, herbivores including African elephants and beavers, are also keystone species sculpting the grasslands and wetlands in which they live.
Holistic Restoration works by viewing people as keystone species in ecosystems and this casts a whole new light on our interactions with our landscape, as farmers, foresters and conservationists. By understanding the ecological interactions that we are engaging in we can take natures lead and harness our keystone ability to sculpt a rich and diverse world, bursting with life and food, that will nurture us and our wildlife now and into the future.
If you are interested in learning more why don't you check out our four part Integrate Podcast.
It takes you on a 15 minute journey through how and why we divided up our landscapes and the benefits of reintegrating plants, animals and people.
Why not download our handy Introduction to Holistic Restoration PDF. Coming soon!
Copyright © 2020 Miriam K McDonald. All rights reserved.