Ecological Restoration in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future
Most people do not realize it, but the Midwest has been at the forefront of ecological restoration longer than perhaps any other region in the United States, dating back to the 1930s. Because of its industrial history, agricultural productivity, and natural features such as the Great Lakes, the Midwest has always faced a unique set of ecological challenges. Focusing on six cutting-edge case studies that highlight thirty restoration efforts and research sites throughout the region- Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio- editors Christian Lenhart and Peter Rocky Smiley Jr. bring together a group of scholars and practitioners to show how midwestern restoration efforts have developed, as well as where they are headed. Whether cleaning up contamination from auto plants in Ohio, or restoring native prairie grasses along the Iowa highway, the contributors uncover a vast network of interested citizens and volunteer groups committed to preserving the region's environment. This study, intended for researchers, students, and practitioners, also provides an updated synthesis of restoration theory and practice, and pinpoints emerging issues of importance in the Midwest, such as climate change and the increase in invasive species it will bring to the region. Though focusing exclusively on the Midwest, the contributors demonstrate how these case studies apply to restoration efforts across the globe.