[permaculture] Agenda Shaping: The Society for Ecological Restoration

Kirby Fry peace at totalaccess.net
Mon Oct 7 10:10:41 EDT 2002

Hi All,

I just attended the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration's (Tex SER)
annual conference in Weslaco, Texas.  It was a fantastic meeting with at
least twenty presenters, eighty or so participants and some great field

Next year the International Society for Ecological Restoration will be
having its meeting in Austin, Texas.  I would like to get someone like Scott
Pittman or Larry Santoyo on the list of presenters for this upcoming

Where I see the SER chapters lacking information and emphasis is in climatic
stabilization, e.g. designing ecosystems for dealing with global warming,
destruction of the ozone layer, preventing wildfires, continental
rehumidification and reversing desertification trends etc.

The main focus of SER projects is typically targeting a time period and
ecosystem type from an aesthetic and biodiversity viewpoint and then using
all available tools to achieve the establishment of that ecosystem such as,
round up, plowing, burning, brush clearing, species eradication, basically
all of the ag tools that have been a part of the problem.

It seems to me that genuine "restoration" more often than not falls victim
to our interpretations of what we thought was once on a given site which is
inevitably biased by what we would LIKE to see on that site.

So as a Pc designer I'm ready to drop the term "restoration" and get on with
designing ecosystems that serve not only biodiversity and our aesthetic
sense of what "should" be there, but also help reverse destructive climactic
and desertification trends.  What I sense needs to be emphasized is working
with the most degraded lands first - rather than knocking back woodlands in
order to install grasslands, rebuilding forests that aren't prone to
devastating wildfires (much needed in Arizona), and comprehensive design
strategies to rehumidify the continental interior and reverse warming and
drying trends (at least those trends that humans have been responsible for).

There is a pretty large and well funded restoration movement on the ground
already hard at work that knows very little about permaculture.  I think we
have plenty of time to line up someone to speak at this upcoming
international conference, and yes I'm more than willing to speak, but I
would love to see someone with more travel experience than myself addressing
this international community.

Kirby Fry

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