Building a restoration economy within our watershed through restoration activities so that we thrive together.
THE RESTORATION ECONOMY
We are convinced that habitat restoration is not sustainable unless local citizens understand the benefits received from the work, and actively participate in restoring ecosystems and ecosystem services in their own communities. Through this approach, we have simultaneously demonstrated that a “restoration economy”—a cultivated network of relationships whereby people gain skills and the capacity to make their livings by caring for place—is both feasible and, today, necessary if we are collectively to surmount public/private and other divides in the face of shared threats to the ecosystems on which lives and livelihoods depend.
“Reintroduction of rare shrubs, grasses, and plants can restore biodiversity and increase yields, but it can be done only with local support. This support can be assured once people realize that restoration work will improve their lives, increase income, restore damaged areas, reduce floods, limit erosion, and protect future generations. That is the ultimate reason for us to press ahead with this work. Please join the effort with support and action.” – David A. Bainbridge, from A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration, A New Hope for Arid Lands (2007).