As anyone who’s had to explain why they’re applying herbicide or removing invasive plants from a “natural” area knows, nature sometimes needs a helping hand if it’s to remain as we expect it to. Although many people believe that left on its own, an ecosystem will achieve a perfect and unchanging balance, that’s not the case, a new book argues, and we’ll be better off when we abandon the idea.
The Rambunctious Garden maintains that there really is no such thing as a natural landscape in its pre-human state; we’ve had so much influence over the millennia that our fingerprints are just about everywhere. But even without us, says author Emma Marris, one dominant species would succeed another, and the landscape would inevitably change over time—often drastically so. She argues against the “balance-of-nature” idea—the notion that we should be working to preserve an unchanging or pristine ecosystem—because left to its own devices, the ecosystem will evolve on its own. (She also argues that in some cases, invasive species can improve an ecosystem—although we don’t always know, when we’re deliberately or unwittingly introducing them, whether that will turn out to be the case.)
“A historically faithful ecosystem is necessarily a heavily managed ecosystem,” claims Marris, who writes for the journal Nature and other publications. Her book turns some conventional ideas upside down, but it offers some intriguing ideas about environmental stewardship.
You can read more about the book on the author’s website.
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
April 5th, 2012
for Surface Water Quality (new date added)
Constantly influenced by natural eutrophication, direct human impact, and a changing climate, surface water is a scarce natural resource needing effective protection. Join Shahram (Shane) Missaghi to explore the function and benefits of BMPs in protecting surface water, and examine three key criteria to insure their successful implementation: water, soil, and climate Read more...
April 12th, 2012
Water Auditing 101
Reduce your water waste and cost! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC to explore the key attributes, uses, and efficiency/cost opportunities of water audits. Aichele will lead a discussion of what a water audit includes, who performs the audit, where and when they should and can be performed, and the opportunities that exist in performing a water audit. Join us and gain an understanding of the potential savings possible, rebates available, and how quickly this unobtrusive work can be implemented from audit to installation to optimize your water use and minimize your cost. Read more...
April 18th, - May 25th, 2012
Sediment and Erosion Control
Master Class Series
Join industry expert and bestselling author Jerald S. Fifield, Ph.D., CISEC, CPESC and Tina R. Evans, PE, CISEC for a comprehensive 6-part online master class and workshop series (0.9 CEUs / 9 PDHs) exploring the ins and outs of effective sediment and erosion control plan design and review based on Fifield’s recently released 3rd edition of the bestselling manual Designing and Reviewing Effective Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (included in your Master Class Series package).