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Environmental Sciences - Environmental Management | The Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land Workbook

The Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land Workbook

Apfelbaum, Steven I., Haney, Alan

2012, XVIII, 182p.


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  • The text will offer upbeat, personal, accessible information on how to understand and practice ecological restoration
  • The writing assumes some interest in and knowledge of natural history, but no higher degrees in ecology or other science
  • The authors, particularly Steve Apfelbaum, are very active in presentations and short courses to groups sponsored by National Arbor Day Foundation, Land Trust Alliance, and other groups
  • Text will be well-illustrated

The Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land Workbook is the first practical guidebook to give restorationists and would-be restorationists with little or no scientific training or background the “how to” information and knowledge they need to plan and implement ecological restoration activities. The book sets forth a step-by-step process for developing, implementing, monitoring, and refining on-the-ground restoration projects that is applicable to a wide range of landscapes and ecosystems.


The first part of the book introduces the process of ecological restoration in simple, easily understood language through specific examples drawn from the authors’ experience restoring their own lands in southern and central Wisconsin. It offers systematic, step-by-step strategies along with inspiration and benchmark experiences. The book’s second half shows how that same “thinking” and “doing” can be applied to North America’s major ecosystems and landscapes in any condition or scale.


No other ecological restoration book leads by example and first-hand experience like this one. The authors encourage readers to champion restoration of ecosystems close to where they live . . . at home, on farms and ranches, in parks and preserves. It provides an essential bridge for people from all walks of life and all levels of experience—from land trust member property stewards to agency personnel responsible for restoring lands in their care—and represents a unique and important contribution to the literature on restoration.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Ecological recovery - Ecological restoration - Ecological services

Related subjects » Ecology - Environmental Management - Nature Conservation & Biodiversity

Table of contents 



Step 1. Inventory and Map Your Land

Task 1. Create a Basemap

Task 2. Characterize Land Use or Cover Types

Task 3. Refine Ecological Units

Task 4. Map Current Conditions of Ecological Units

Task 5. Review Soil Type Distributions and Assess Seedbanks

Task 6. Map Drainage

Task 7. Map Locations of Significant Populations of Invasive Species

Task 8. Assess and Map Stressors

Step 2. Investigate Historic Conditions

Task 9. Complete Historic Conditions Data Form

Task 10. Map Soils and Surface Geology

Task 11. Understand How Your Land Has Changed

Step 3. Interpret Landscape Changes

Task 12. Develop Working Hypotheses

Task 13. Map Ecotones and Gradients

Step 4 Develop Goals and Objectives

Task 14. Develop Restoration Goals and Objectives

Task 15. Review and Firm Up Framing Infrastructure

Task 16. Develop a Project Governance Plan

Task 17. Prepare a Preliminary Budget

Task 18. Refine Goals and Objectives

Step 5. Develop Your Restoration Plan

Task 19. Design the Outline (Content) of Your Plan

Step 6. Develop a Good Monitoring Program

Task 20. Develop Your Monitoring Program

Step 7. Implement the Plan

Task 21. Develop a Task List and Schedule

Task 22. Develop Project Phasing Plans

Task 23. Develop Detailed Specifications<

Task 24. Determine Restoration Methods and Equipment Needs

Task 25. Procure Plants, Seeds, and Materials

Task 26. Complete Final Budget

Task 27. Develop Long-term Maintenance Budget and Endowment

Step 8. Maintain Good Records

Task 28. Decide What Will Be Recorded

Task 29. Develop a Record-keeping Strategy

Step 9. Review the Project

Task 30. Schedule Semiannual and Annual Reviews

Task 31. Refine the Restoration Program as Suggested by the Review

Step 10. Share the Restoration Process

Task 32. Develop a Plan for Sharing Your Experiences

appendix 1. data forms

appendix 2. equipment, safety, and protection for restoration planning

appendix 3. restoration contracts

appendix 4. additional resources for readers.

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