Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 46:55; 2014


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Ecological restoration—the process of assisting the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed—is being incorporated into the fabric of our society. The practice of ecological restoration of natural areas developed and grew in the twentieth century in response to widespread human disturbance of natural communities. Undoubtedly, this type of restoration will continue to increase in importance in the coming decades given the extensive alteration of ecosystems that is occurring and that is showing no signs of abating.

As indicated in the promotional material for Making Nature Whole, Jordan and Lubick have provided a seminal publication for the relatively new field of ecological restoration. As a comparative vehicle and standard for restoration activities, they contrast ecocentric restoration, (i.e., the literal recreation of a previously existing ecosystem with all of it parts and processes) with meliorative land management (i.e., making an environment “better” for someone). While indicating that ideas about restoration vary, the authors argue for ecocentric restoration as a model or ideal criteria to provide a context for comparing restoration activities and projects.