Incorporating place-based values into ecological restoration

TitleIncorporating place-based values into ecological restoration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsWickham, SB, Augustine, S, Forney, A, Mathews, DL, Shackelford, N, Walkus, J, Trant, AJ
JournalEcology and Society
Keywordsbiodiversity, ecocultural, First Nations, Indigenous, placed-based, restoration, stewardship, synthesis, technical reports and journal articles, values

Knowledge of how ecocultural landscapes co-evolved, how they were shaped and maintained by local people, and what processes disturbed the landscape should inform the planning, execution, and significance of restoration projects. Indigenous stewardship has resulted in legacies of diverse and productive ecocultural environments. Often, this stewardship has been guided by place-based values, which are informed by Indigenous knowledge, beliefs of equal respect for all ecosystem components, and conduct that sustains resource productivity. We propose that cultivating place-based values in restoration initiatives will provide reciprocal benefits by conserving biodiversity and promoting human connections to land. Drawing on lessons from Indigenous knowledge systems in what is now called British Columbia, Canada, we demonstrate how place-based values directed the stewardship of historical oak-meadow and clam gardens, which created diverse and productive ecosystems that sustained for millennia. Drawing on examples of contemporary restoration projects (crabapple orchards and clam gardens) that utilize place-based values to inform the recovery of ecocultural landscapes, we propose a framework to help initiate a place-based values approach in contemporary restoration design congruent with ethics of inclusion.