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All Ebook Formats $31.99 ISBN: 9781597268134 Published May 2010
Hardcover $60.00 ISBN: 9781597265713 Published May 2010
Paperback $32.00 ISBN: 9781597265720 Published May 2010


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Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land

 Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land
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Steven I. Apfelbaum and Alan Haney

264 pages | 7 x 10

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land 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.

“This manual celebrates human connectedness to the natural world. By putting the sciences and the arts together to restore land and bring it back to health, Steve and Alan guide us to manage the land and then to understand and love the land.”
Nina Leopold Bradley,

“Infused with land ethic and solid ecology, this volume spells out a compelling process for restoration, from initial concept to planning, implementation, and long-term management. Everyone interested in the practice of restoration, professionals included, will appreciate the holistic vision of restoration and its societal role espoused in this book-length essay.”
John Shuey, Director of Conservation Science, Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land provides critical insights into the real work of healing ecological functions of degraded landscapes. The authors are visionary practitioners who have amassed a wealth of hands-on experiences validated by long-term ecological monitoring. This book will assist private land owners, public land managers, and land conservancy stewards to design and execute restoration activities yielding ecologically significant results.”
Peter R. Stein, Managing Director, The Lyme Timber Company

“This down-to-earth book gives land owners the confidence and courage to initiate their own ecological restoration programs. The reader should be warned that Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land could easily inspire you to embark on a lifelong, learn-as-you-go adventure on your own land that’s guaranteed to keep your brow sweaty, your knuckles dirty, and your spirit soaring.”
Andre Clewell, President Emeritus, Society for Ecological Restoration International

"Ecological recovery are what many places need to recover their natural beauty. Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land is a guide to restoring ecological areas where urbanization has caused environmental decay. With chapters discussing many types of areas from plains to forests, and step by step plans to tracking progress, Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land proves to be a powerful reference and guide, highly recommended to any in charge of overseeing such projects for its comprehensive collection of tips and advice."
Midwest Book Review

“Landscape architects, who increasingly get a significant percentage of business from restoration, will find this thorough, replicable process valuable, whatever their experience level. Professionals will benefit from the authors' insistence on monitoring measurable results: Too many of our ecological and sustainable projects never receive this validation, even from LEED and its offspring.”
Landscape Architecture

"Steven Apfelbaum and Alan Haney are both seasoned restoration practitioners from Wisconsin, a heartland of North American restoration practice and science. They write about restoring land on small, private holdings. The authors provide step-by-step guidance on executing and monitoring the restoration of grasslands, forests, wetlands, riparian areas, and even desert areas. It is a well-written, well-produced, and authoritative book, which I recommend wholeheartedly for readers with no appetite to tackle the specialized literature, but who have restoration projects in mind, at heart, or underway, especially on their own land."
Conservation Biology

"Overall, I would think that this book is a useful primer for undergraduates studying ecological restoration or restoration ecology. The first part is generic and could be used anywhere in the world; the latter half is heavily focused on North America. It is very well written, and it is clear that the authors have lived and breathed the subject. Anyone involved in teaching this subject should have a copy for inspiration and ideas."
Biological Conservation

"A useful volume, modesty priced by a non-profit making publisher."
Bulletin of the British Ecological Society

"...the wealth of information in this workbook makes it a valuable resource even for experienced restoration ecologists."
Ecological Management & Restoration



Chapter 1. Connecting with the Land: The Story of Stone Prairie Farm
Exploring the Landscape
Developing a Plan
Getting Started
Scaling Up
Learning to Work with Nature
Principles Learned from the Stone Prairie Experience
Learning by Doing
The Necessity of Stewardship
Joy of Success

Chapter 2. Ecological Restoration: An Overview
   Assessing the Health of Ecosystems
   Indicators of Healthy Ecosystems
   Special Importance of Diversity
Ten-step Process for Ecological Restoration
   Step One: Mapping and Inventory
   Step Two: Investigate the History of the Landscape
   Step Three: Interpretation of Landscape Changes
   Step Four: Develop Realistic Goals and Objectives
   Step Five: Prepare a Plan
   Step Six: Develop and Initiate a Monitoring Program
   Step Seven: Implement the Plan
   Step Eight: Document Changes and Maintain Records
   Step Nine: Periodically Reevaluate the Program
   Step Ten: Communicate and Educate

Chapter 3. Developing a Restoration Plan
The Restoration Process
   Step One: Inventory and Mapping
   Step Two: Investigate the History of the Landscape
   Step Three: Interpretation of Landscape Changes
   Step Four: Develop Realistic Goals and Objectives
   Step Five: Prepare a Plan
   Step Six: Develop and Initiate a Monitoring Program
   Step Seven: Implement the Plan
   Step Eight. Document Changes and Maintain Records

Chapter 4. Implementing Restoration
Working at the Right Scale
Where to Start
Working With and Not Against Nature
Recruiting Volunteers and Hiring Professional Help
Restoration Success and Nature’s Clock
   Availability vs. Phenology
   Reading Phenology: What to Look For
   Knowing When It Is Too Late
   Throwing Everything at the Land?
   Patience, Persistence, and Long-term Perspectives
Commonly Employed Techniques
   Chemical Challenges
   Biological Techniques
   Site Preparation
   Seeding and Planting
   Control of Woody Vegetation
   Use of Fire
A Management Program

Chapter 5. Monitoring Progress
Affirming Measurable Objectives
Basic Monitoring Techniques
   Light Quality and Quantity
   Plant Community and Vegetation
   Faunal Monitoring

Other Benefits of Monitoring
Is There Ever an Endpoint?


Chapter 6. Grassland Restoration

Historic Grasslands in North America
Grassland Fauna
Market and Policy Changes
Restoration Practices
   Mixed-grass and Short-grass Prairie Restoration
   Tallgrass Prairie Restoration
   Choice of Species
   Caring for New Prairie
   Prescribed Fire
   Control of Woody Invasives

Chapter 7. Restoring Forest Ecosystems
The Challenge of Restoring Forested Ecosystems
Applying the Principles of Restoration
   Examples Across North America
   Longleaf-slash Pine Forests
   Bottomland Hardwood Forests
   Oak-pine and Loblolly-short-leaf Pine Forests
   Oak-hickory Forests000Northern Hardwood Forests
   Boreal Forests
   Pacific Evergreen Forests


Chapter 8. Wetland Restoration
Wetland Form and Function
Planning Wetland Restoration
Regulations and Legal Definitions
Different Types of Wetlands
Water Quality
   Classification of Wetlands
Physical Gradients and Biological Change
Restorations Strategies and Process

Chapter 9. Restoring Streams
Underlying Problems
Some Principles
The Process of Stream Restoration

Chapter 10. Restoring Deserts
What Is a Desert
Unique Biological Adaptations
Stressors and Impacts
Restorations Strategies

Species List

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