Wild By Design: A Conversation with Author Laura Martin
Today environmental restoration is a global pursuit. Governments, nonprofits, and other institutions spend billions of dollars each year to remove invasive species, build wetlands, and reintroduce species driven from their habitats. But restoration has not always been so intensively practiced. It began as the pastime of a few wildflower enthusiasts and the first practitioners of the new scientific discipline of ecology.
Restorationists grapple with the deepest puzzles of human care for life on earth: How to intervene in nature for nature’s own sake? Is it possible to design nature without destroying wildness? Laura J. Martin shows how amateur and professional ecologists, interest groups, and government agencies coalesced around a mode of environmental management that sought to respect the world-making, and even the decision-making, of other species. At the same time, restoration science reshaped material environments in ways that transformed what we understand the wild to be. In Wild by Design, restoration’s past provides vital knowledge for climate change policy. But Martin also offers something more―a meditation on what it means to be wild and a call for ecological restoration that is socially just.