Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


ABSTRACT This thesis will determine if there is a discrepancy between how literature defines conservation, preservation, and restoration, and how natural resource professionals define these terms. Interviews were conducted with six professionals from six different agencies that deal with natural resources. These agencies consisted of both government and non-government groups. In addition to interviewing these professionals regarding how they define the terms, they were asked where their work fits into the context of these terms. The interviewees’ responses were then compared with the literature to determine inconsistencies with the use of these terms in the literature and real world settings. The literature and the interviewees have agreed on the term conservation. There are some different points of view about preservation, some see it as ‘no management’ and some others see it as keeping things the same or ‘static.’ Restoration was the term where both the literature and professionals thought of moving an ecosystem from one point of succession or community, to another point on a continuum. The only thing in which they disagree on is the final goal of a restoration project. The literature would suggest restoring the ecosystem to a past historic condition, where the interviewees said to restore it to the best of their abilities and to a functioning ecosystem.