How traditional tribal perspectives influence ecosystem restoration

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The hundreds of Indigenous tribes in the United States harbor diverse perspectives about the natural world, yet they share many views that are important for ecosystem restoration efforts. This paper features examples of how such views have guided ecosystem restoration through partnerships between tribal communities and the U.S. Forest Service in the western United States. Traditional perspectives have influenced restoration by deepening the understanding of reference conditions, expanding consideration of system dynamics, and guiding treatment based upon ethical principles and beliefs. More holistic perspectives may enhance restoration success by encouraging positive psychological and social effects that help sustain community efforts. Guided by traditional perspectives, restoration activities can reveal evidence of past human engagement with the land, which further illustrates the need and opportunity for restoration. Traditional perspectives can encourage more integrative, ethical, and self-reinforcing restoration that will benefit present-day tribal and non-tribal communities.

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