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Extracting culture or injecting nature? Rewilding in a transatlantic perspective


Hall, Marcus (2014). Extracting culture or injecting nature? Rewilding in a transatlantic perspective. In: Drenthen, Martin; Keulartz, Jozef. Old World and New World Perspectives in Environmental Philosophy. Cham: Springer, 17-35.

Abstract

Of the many challenges facing ecological restoration, the one most often receiving attention is the issue of selecting a goal or target state. In the project of repairing degraded natural systems, do we aim to bring back a pristine, wild state or else a more humanized, pastoral state? Re-wilding is the general label of the former goal, whereas re-gardening might be the best descriptor of the latter effort. To put this in a transatlantic context, North Americans may be much more comfortable rewilding, whereas Europeans are adept at gardening and regardening. Wilderness is traditionally an American thing, and many say that “real” wilderness simply doesn’t exist in Europe, even in northern Scandinavia—and hasn’t for a long time. The puzzle, however, is that today Europeans are increasingly joining Americans in rewilding. Perhaps restorationists on both sides of the Atlantic are simply naturing, re-naturing or new naturing, by bringing back better forms of nature, with little regard to how wild it may be. Has restoration’s transatlantic divide simply dissolved?

Abstract

Of the many challenges facing ecological restoration, the one most often receiving attention is the issue of selecting a goal or target state. In the project of repairing degraded natural systems, do we aim to bring back a pristine, wild state or else a more humanized, pastoral state? Re-wilding is the general label of the former goal, whereas re-gardening might be the best descriptor of the latter effort. To put this in a transatlantic context, North Americans may be much more comfortable rewilding, whereas Europeans are adept at gardening and regardening. Wilderness is traditionally an American thing, and many say that “real” wilderness simply doesn’t exist in Europe, even in northern Scandinavia—and hasn’t for a long time. The puzzle, however, is that today Europeans are increasingly joining Americans in rewilding. Perhaps restorationists on both sides of the Atlantic are simply naturing, re-naturing or new naturing, by bringing back better forms of nature, with little regard to how wild it may be. Has restoration’s transatlantic divide simply dissolved?

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Feb 2015 09:48
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 11:10
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics
Number:21
ISSN:1570-3010
Additional Information:The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07683-6_2
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07683-6_2

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