Natural Areas

The contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities to ecological restoration
By: Victoria Reyes-García, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Pamela McElwee, Zsolt Molnár, Kinga Öllerer, Sarah J. Wilson, Eduardo S. Brondizio
Restoration Ecology Vol. 27, Issue 1
Key words: Restoration, maintenance, ecosystems, traditional practices, Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK), resilience, conservation
From their review of the available literature, the authors make the argument that when Indigenous people and local communities are involved with restoration projects, they are more often successful. Their collaboration and insight makes the maintenance projects more long-term, too, as they are informed by traditional knowledge and practices.

Global trends of local ecological knowledge and future implications
By: Shankar Aswani
April 5, 2018
Keywords: Biodiversity, conservation science, culture, medicinal plants, ethnobotany, climate change, indigenous populations, agriculture
Global losses of biodiversity are accompanied by loss of traditional ecological knowledge. The resulting loss of biocultural diversity threatens human adaptive resilience to these changes. This study considers local ecological knowledge (LEK), including traditional and local knowledge from all communities, within developing and industrialized nations. This paper surveys relevant research about LEK loss and considers the ecological implications of these losses.

What if nature, like corporations, had the rights and protections of a person?
by Chip Colwell
The Conversation, October 10, 2016
Key words: Citizens United, Te Urewera Act, natural and cultural resources protection, Zuni, Maori, Hopi
For the Zuni Pueblo, Mount Taylor (northwest of Albuquerque, NM) is a site of sacred significance that has sustained and shaped the life and identity of the Zuni people for centuries. The mountain is regarded as a giver of life, a living body. In this article, the author uses Mount Taylor as an example of a place that, were it to be regarded (as corporations are) as a living person, could be afforded the same respect and protections by federal and state regulators, as it is by the Zuni. Such a designation could provide the mountain rights and protections from, for example, the already extensive uranium mining taking place there by the U.S. Forest Service.

Keep off the Grasslands, Mark Dowie on Conservation Refugees
By: Joel Whitney
The Sun
August 2013
Key words: Resource extraction, public lands, pristine, wilderness, Indigenous, stewardship
The author interviews Mark Dowie about Indigenous peoples around the world and their abilities to create biological diversity, using their traditional ecological knowledge, and the impact of big corporations and conservation organizations and their creation and impact on wilderness areas.

Resilience and the Cultural Landscape; Understanding and Managing Change in Human-Shaped Environments
Edited by: Tobias Plieninger and Claudia Bieling
Cambridge University Press
Key words: Biodiversity, ecological disturbance, adaptability, social–ecological resilience
Human activity occupies more than four-fifths of Earth’s landmasses, which have been primarily cultivated for timber production and agriculture. These dominant forms of human-environmental relationships characterize a model of industry at the cost of biodiversity and resilience. This view of humans on the environment excludes traditional relationships that are both longer standing examples, and promote ecological resilience. These mutually beneficial examples are used to show how localized management programs contrast against larger practices. Authors discuss the ways in which a cultural-ecological landscape can remain productive until it crosses a certain threshold of scale, at which it’s unable to remain as resilient.

What is Natural?: Protected Areas, Indigenous Peoples, and The Western Idea of Nature
by Dennis Martinez
Ecological Restoration, 21:247-250;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.247
December 2003
Keywords: Wildness, ecological integrity, control over nature
The author discusses Western ideas of the separation of nature from humanity. Policies separating indigenous people from involvement in land management are contrasted against arguments that indigenous people are integral to successful ecosystems.

What is Natural?: Nature as We See It: National Parks and the Wilderness Ideal
by David Louter
Ecological Restoration, 21:251-253;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.251
December 2003
Keywords: Definition of natural, Native American eviction, wilderness design
This article discusses aspects of National Parks Landscapes and messaging that have been designed by modern society National Parks policy. The author explores the meaning of natural by looking at historic human involvement with natural landscapes. Also discusses the historic policy focus on tourism in national parks sometimes at the expense of other interests. Finally, the article touches on the eviction of Native Americans from National Parks lands and how Native Americans involvement in National Parks clashed with ideas of pristine wilderness promoted in the progressive era.

Last updated: January 9, 2020