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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Continuity and change in forest restoration. A comparison of US ecology and forestry in the 1940s and 1990s

Jonsson, Jimmy; Priebe, Janina; Marald, Erland; Lundmark, Tomas

Abstract

Previous research has paid little attention to the multiple meanings of the concept of forest restoration. To gain a more comprehensive view of forest restoration, this paper compares the US forest restoration debate of the 1940s and 1990s, in the disciplines of ecology and forestry. The paper focuses on historical approaches to pasts and futures, and on "sociotechnical imaginaries " providing societal legitimacy to restoration ventures. Historical scientific papers constitute the paper's empirical sources. The analysis shows that, among ecologists and foresters, forest restoration of the 1940s was oriented towards efficiency and challenges such as wood demands during World War II, whereas restoration of the 1990s was oriented towards conservation and environmental challenges. The approaches of the 1940s' ecologists and foresters seem motivated by a sociotechnical imaginary connecting forest restoration to societal progress, whereas the approaches of their 1990s' counterparts seem motivated by a sociotechnical imaginary connecting forest restoration to the task of mitigating society's impacts. Based on the conclusions, it is argued that future research on forest restoration would benefit from comparing the idealized pasts of both yield-and conservation-oriented conceptions of forest restoration.

Keywords

Ecology; Forest restoration; Forestry; Historical comparisons; Sociotechnical imaginaries

Published in

Environmental Science and Policy
2022, volume: 134, pages: 100-107
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD

Authors' information

Jönsson, Jimmy
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Priebe, Janina
Umea University
Marald, Erland
Umea University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2022.04.007

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/117549