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Different perspectives and views are used to evaluate the debate on the nature of ecosystems
Highly relevant to the current environmental agenda
Since John Muir and Gifford Pinchot championed the protection of land a century ago, ecologists and conservationists have struggled with simple questions of ecological management: exactly what aspects of our natural resources should we protect, and how should we protect them? At the heart of this debate lies the concept of the ecosystem—a term that has ironically grown more difficult to define as our understanding of ecological relationships has evolved. In this compelling book, Doug traces the notion of the ecosystem from its early application in American land conservation through the modern approach to natural resources management. Doug makes the case that the classic ecosystem concept is as deeply ingrained in the American conservation movement as it is deeply flawed. As a result, many present-day land protection efforts are fixated on the preservation of an ideal set of species as a coherent and sustainable unit, even as ecological research increasingly suggests that no such unit exists. Through critical analysis of ecosystem management in theory and practice, Protected Land presents an argument for re-framing the human relationship with ecological systems to embrace, rather than suppress, the forces of change.