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Views on restoration

Elliot (1982)


  • Restoration is fake nature

  • The origin is important

  • A resorted nature is as fake as a faked art work

  • “The reason why the ‘faked’ forest counts for less, more often than not, than the real thing are similar to reasons why faked works of art count for less than the real thing. Origin is important as an integral part of the evaluation process.“ (Elliot 1982: 388)

Katz (2000)


  • Restoration is humankind’s domination of nature

  • Human made nature are “artifactual realities” (Katz 2000: 396)

  • “Restoration relieves the guilt we feel about the destruction of nature” (Katz 2000: 390)

  • “We are putting a piece of furniture over the stain in the carpet, for it provides a better appearance.” (Katz 2000: 396)

Light (2003)


  • Restoration is an “effort to restore an important part of the nature human relationship with nonhuman nature” (Light 2003: 398)

  • Restoration “teaches us the actual consequences of our actions rather than allowing us to ignore them by restricting our interaction with nature to those parts we have not yet damaged” (Light 2003: 409)



  • Rewilding usually refers to the (re-)introduction of a species and the land abandonment (Jørgensen 2015)

  • Humans justify their attempt to rewild animals due to their impact on land use due to colonisation (Foreman 2004; Brown et al. 2011)

  • “Restoring self-regulated land communities, […] natural regimes of disturbance and other processes will recover on their own“ (Soule & Noss 1998)

  • Restoration are brought by an monitored by humans, but rewilding rejects continuous human management (Prior & Brady 2016)

  • Nogués-Bravo et al. (2016) compare rewilding to Pandora’s Box: Do ecologists know enough about the complex webs?

References and further reading


  • Brown, C., Mcmorran, R., & Price, M. F. (2011). Rewilding–a new paradigm for nature conservation in Scotland?. Scottish Geographical Journal, 127(4), 288-314

  • Elliot, R. (1982). Faking nature. Inquiry, 25(1), 81-93.

  • Foreman, D. (2004). Rewilding North America: a vision for conservation in the 21st century. Island Press, Washington DC.

  • Jørgensen, D. (2015). Rethinking rewilding. Geoforum, 65, 482-488

  • Katz, E. (2009). The big lie: Human restoration of nature. Readings in the Philosophy of Technology, 443.

  • Light, A. (2000). Ecological restoration and the culture of nature: A pragmatic perspective. Restoring nature: Perspectives from the social sciences and humanities, 49-70.

  • Macaskill, M. (2016). Plan to release lynx in Scotland. The Sunday Times 26 June 2016. Retrieved from (30.10.17).

  • Manning, A. D., Gordon, I. J., & Ripple, W. J. (2009). Restoring landscapes of fear with wolves in the Scottish Highlands. Biological Conservation, 142(10), 2314-2321.

  • Nogués-Bravo, D., Simberloff, D., Rahbek, C., & Sanders, N. J. (2016). Rewilding is the new Pandora’s box in conservation. Current Biology, 26(3), R87-R91.

  • Prior, J., & Brady, E. (2016). Environmental aesthetics and rewilding. Environmental Values.

  • Rewilding Britain (2017). Wolf. Retireved from (30.10.17)

  • Soule, M., & Noss, R. (1998). Rewilding and biodiversity: complementary goals for continental conservation. Wild Earth, 8, 18-28.

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