FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS – Workshop on History and Values in Ecological Restoration

–June 7-9, 2012 at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

–Sponsored in part by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation

This workshop focuses on restoration in landscapes with complex histories, shaped by the ongoing interaction between humans and nature.  These “hybrid landscapes” challenge traditional frameworks for ecological restoration, which focus on restoration of ecosystems to conditions existing prior to a discrete anthropogenic disturbance. Hybrid landscapes, by contrast, are characterized by blended natural and cultural histories, which challenge the identification of pre-disturbance “reference conditions.”  The aim of this workshop is to explore history and values in hybrid landscapes, and how they interact in the identification of restoration goals.  The workshop will give particular attention to the restoration and re-naturalization of former military sites in the United States now managed as National Wildlife Refuges.

Key questions for the workshop include: To what extent, if any, are the concepts of “authenticity” and “historical fidelity” relevant to restoration in hybrid landscapes? Are there new ways of conceiving authenticity and historical fidelity that are more appropriate for landscapes with complex socio-ecological histories, or are these categories simply irrelevant?  If authenticity and historical fidelity are no longer relevant, then what values should guide restoration?  To what extent should restored landscapes and their interpretation take account of and make visible a site’s history?

We welcome papers from history, philosophy, geography, sociology, restoration ecology, and other relevant disciplines that address the above questions and themes.  This workshop has a unique format: we are inviting land managers from several military-to-wildlife conversion refuges to participate, and the workshop will include a field trip to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, a former chemical weapons manufacturing facility.  Presenters should tailor their papers for accessibility and relevance to both managers and academics. Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, we will cover lodging and food for all workshop presenters.  

Please submit 300-word abstracts to Marion Hourdequin by February 20, 2012.  Early submissions are welcome.  Questions about the workshop can be directed to the organizers, Marion Hourdequin (Colorado College) and David Havlick (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs).