Ecological restoration initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem, with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability, to its historic trajectory or some perceived pristine state. In most cases, the ecosystem that requires restoration has been degraded, damaged, transformed or entirely destroyed as the direct or indirect result of human activities. In other cases, these impacts to ecosystems have been caused or aggravated by natural agencies such as wildfire, floods, storms, or volcanic eruption, to the point at which the ecosystem cannot recover its pre-disturbance state or its historic developmental trajectory. (Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group. 2004. The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.)
Photo caption: Students assisting with the restoration of Atturbury wash in Tucson.