Chelsea Green Publishing

Beyond the War on Invasive Species

Pages:272 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585637
Pub. Date July 03, 2015

Beyond the War on Invasive Species

A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration

By Tao Orion
Foreword by David Holmgren

Categories:
Nature & Environment

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
July 03, 2015

$22.95

Invasive species are everywhere, from forests and prairies to mountaintops and river mouths. Their rampant nature and sheer numbers appear to overtake fragile native species and forever change the ecosystems that they depend on. Concerns that invasive species represent significant threats to global biodiversity and ecological integrity permeate conversations from schoolrooms to board rooms, and concerned citizens grapple with how to rapidly and efficiently manage their populations. These worries have culminated in an ongoing “war on invasive species,” where the arsenal is stocked with bulldozers, chainsaws, and herbicides put to the task of their immediate eradication. In Hawaii, mangrove trees (Avicennia spp.) are sprayed with glyphosate and left to decompose on the sandy shorelines where they grow, and in Washington, helicopters apply the herbicide Imazapyr to smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) growing in estuaries. The “war on invasive species” is in full swing, but given the scope of such potentially dangerous and ecologically degrading eradication practices, it is necessary to question the very nature of the battle. 

Beyond the War on Invasive Species offers a much-needed alternative perspective on invasive species and the best practices for their management based on a holistic, permaculture-inspired framework. Utilizing the latest research and thinking on the changing nature of ecological systems, Beyond the War on Invasive Species closely examines the factors that are largely missing from the common conceptions of invasive species, including how the colliding effects of climate change, habitat destruction, and changes in land use and management contribute to their proliferation. Beyond the War on Invasive Species demonstrates that there is more to the story of invasive species than is commonly conceived, and offers ways of understanding their presence and ecosystem effects in order to make more ecologically responsible choices in land restoration and biodiversity conservation that address the root of the invasion phenomenon. The choices we make on a daily basis—the ways we procure food, shelter, water, medicine, and transportation—are the major drivers of contemporary changes in ecosystem structure and function; therefore, deep and long-lasting ecological restoration outcomes will come not just from eliminating invasive species, but through conscientious redesign of these production systems.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Choice-

"Emphasizing a holistic use of what is present in the landscape, rather than what managers presume should be there, Orion (Oregon State Univ.) delves into the somewhat controversial field of invasive ecology, using both plant and animal examples in ecosystem restoration.  She thoughtfully discusses the ethics of restoring function to ecosystems and looks at species migrations and movements in a broader context than would most land managers having conversations on landscape scales.  She also points out many examples in which understanding the roles and relationships of problem species could lead to multiple solutions for ecosystem health and society.  A permaculture perspective is not widely seen in restoration science; however, Orion calls for managers and scientists to recognize destructive patterns, especially with changing climate, habitat shifts, and society's attitudes toward conservation.  This thought-provoking book is an interesting read for anyone dealing with natural resources or agricultural sciences who aspires to be an environmental steward of a healthier planet. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners.”

Library Journal, Starred Review-

"Here is a brilliant, alternative way of dealing with nonnative, invasive species. Oregon State University permaculturist Orion’s emphasis is on plants, and her survey of relevant literature is a virtuoso incorporation of books, journals, electronic resources, and personal communications, written in commendable expository prose. In the face of overwhelming political correctness, which dictates that invasive species should be eliminated, the author offers ways to exploit and adapt to them in addition to extolling the virtues some of the species exhibit. As an instructor, Orion teaches ways to manage ecosystems with an eye to long-term results, free of herbicides and destructive attempts to remove species seen as undesirable. She pays special attention to the behaviors of ‘primitive' societies in relation to their surroundings. In her view, pre-Columbian America was already far from pristine; it underwent many changes wrought by Native Americans, especially through fire. This thoughtful, controversial, and well-documented book is guaranteed to infuriate many and to provoke us into rethinking our attitudes about what is natural and best for the land. With essays such as 'The Myth of Wilderness,' the reader is challenged to confront revolutionary ideas about our landscapes. VERDICT: Ideal for all interested in natural history, agriculture, chemicals, climate change, ecology, and anthropology.” 

Booklist-

"Ecosystem restoration, broadly defined as reinstating native flora and fauna by controlling invasive species, is a noble goal. But in the case of plants, it is often achieved through the use of harsh pesticides. This irony is not lost on botanist Orion, who encourages fellow environmental professionals to factor in the larger picture and “turn on the macroscope” to meet desired end goals. Systematically pointing out avenues for improvement in our approach to restoration, from consuming more local foods to changing how we work with “pristine” nature, Orion provides us with a practical worksheet that takes the permaculture view, a holistic way of looking at habitat. This slender volume might be too “textbookish” to be accessible to the lay reader but Orion’s reminders that the very definition of “native” is in flux (a process exacerbated by climate change) and her eco-friendly suggestions about what to do with “unwanted” species should be essential reading for all. Plenty of real-world instances of invasive flora and fauna (e.g., kudzu, zebra mussels) make the case effectively.”

“Some of our most productive and tasty plants in the permaculture landscape are vilified as invasive weeds that need controlling. This is a mindset that also promotes a delineation between conservation and agriculture. My personal response is to cultivate fewer conventional annual vegetables and grow and eat as many of these weeds as is appropriate, creating an extensive, diverse, and resilient forage system in my own backyard. It is time to stop putting land management into boxes and create wildlife habitats and food in stacked systems.

"Tao Orion explains how to take advantage of the vigor of ‘invasive’ edible and useful exotics and harvest them. This is how to bring ecosystems back into balance. This is adaptive permaculture thinking at the broad-scale level. Chelsea Green has produced yet another pioneering book, demonstrating how permaculture is way ahead of conventional land-management practices.”--Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture magazine, cofounder of The Sustainability Centre in the UK, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

“An interesting and valuable contribution to the ongoing refutation of invasive species ideology. Detailed and wide-ranging, Orion extends and deepens several analyses of invasionism, and offers several interesting new perspectives. She points to holistic systems management as an alternative to the current war on invasives. Land managers and invasionists would do well to give it a careful read.”--D.I. Theodoropoulos, author of Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience

Beyond the War on Invasive Species creates an essential pathway for deeper care of the Earth. The holistic perspective of invasives is shared through deep experience and thoughtfulness and ultimately leads us to a greater and more aligned role in restoration of our home’s ecosystems in these changing times. This book offers a critical role in civilization’s evolution and highlights actions that recognize deeper values that benefit our society as a whole.”--Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival

“In her fascinating and highly readable book, Beyond the War on Invasive Species, author Tao Orion points out the shortcomings of our current approach toward landscape restoration and invasive species. Rather than seeing these exotic plants and animals simply as invaders that need to be eradicated, she argues, we should recognize the beneficial role they play in the environment and the many essential services they could provide to human beings. “Embracing rampancy,” as Orion exuberantly puts it, turns the perceived problem of invasive species into practical solutions that also allow us to make peace with both the land and ourselves.”--Larry Korn, author of One-Straw Revolutionary: The Philosophy and Work of Masanobu Fukuoka

“This book brings much-needed balance to the overheated debate about so-called invasive species. Tao Orion’s meticulously researched yet engaging work shows that the true culprits are nearly always human-caused disturbance and development, and that species shifts are a symptom, not a cause, of this habitat destruction. Beyond the War on Invasive Species is an important book that offers a path away from unsuccessful restoration efforts—based on poor science and policy—and toward new, ecologically sound programs for building and preserving biodiversity.”--Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture and The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience

Beyond the War on Invasive Species is part of a new, much more nuanced conversation about ‘invasive’ species that is taking place in science, agriculture, and land management. It provides an analysis of the new science that looks for ecosystem function as well as harm from newly arrived species, looks at species migration in the context of climate change, and broadens our conversation to look at these organisms in the context of the human ecological footprint. Orion offers land management guidelines, based in permaculture design process, that help to chart a new way forward in our new land of novel ecosystems.”--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables

“Tao Orion has brought together personal experience, careful study, and visionary thinking to turn us toward becoming useful people of place. Her exploration widens the narrow concept of invasion (so often repeated but seldom carefully thought through) and elucidates the trouble of short sightedness. We are not threatened by aliens, but rather we are turning our backs on the big picture.”--Tom Ward, author of Greenward, Ho! Herbal Home Remedies and cofounder of Siskiyou Permaculture

“A gathering body of evidence against the scale of chemical interventions in both agriculture and wild nature is fueling a battle of geopolitical proportions. In the process of asking the questions about how best to restore nature, Orion exposes a deep ethical corruption at the heart of both ecological science and the environmental movement.”--David Holmgren, from the Foreword

Beyond the War on Invasive Species is a devastating exposé of the military industrial invasive species complex and a sorely needed and impeccably researched volume that should become one of many as we recover from self-destructive attempts to eradicate parts of nature instead of acting with an understanding of the whole.”--Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead and founder of Whole Systems Design

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tao Orion

Tao Orion is a permaculture designer, teacher, homesteader, and mother living in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon. She teaches permaculture design at Oregon State University and at Aprovecho, a 40-acre nonprofit sustainable-living educational organization. Tao consults on holistic farm, forest, and restoration planning through Resilience Permaculture Design, LLC. She holds a degree in agroecology and sustainable agriculture from UC Santa Cruz, and her interest in restoration was piqued when studying botany, wildcrafting, and herbalism at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon. She has a keen interest in integrating the disciplines of organic agriculture, sustainable land-use planning, ethnobotany, and ecosystem restoration in order to create beneficial social, economic, and ecological outcomes. When she is not writing, she is busy keeping up with her toddler and wrangling a diverse array of plants and animals on her 6.5-acre homestead, Viriditas Farm.

AUTHOR EVENTS

March 07, 2018

Tao Orion at Ecological Landscaping Alliance Conference

UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA | Tao Orion
Beyond the War on Invasive Species presentation. The ELA Conference brings together landscape professionals who care deeply about the health and wellbeing of the landscape.

See all Events by this Author

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

The Unselfish Spirit

The Unselfish Spirit

By Mick Collins

The Unselfish Spirit is an essential twenty-first-century guide to unlocking the secrets of how we as a race can collectively grow our consciousness to solve the complex web of challenges that threaten life on Earth.

As a species, we are at a tipping point in our evolutionary journey, exacerbated by worsening ecological conditions. We have been treating the Earth as an object to be exploited and have consequently cut ourselves off from evolving cooperatively with nature. We have to find new ways of doing, knowing, and being, so we can live in harmony with all life.

In this fascinating blend of meticulously researched theory with direct experience, Mick Collins identifies how our global crisis is also a spiritual one. He suggests that the cultivation of our psycho-spiritual awareness can reveal new vistas, helping us engage in our transformative potential, both individually and collectively.

The Unselfish Spirit draws inspiration from such diverse fields as cosmology, new biology, and quantum physics, along with insights from depth psychology, occupational science, and mysticism. Theories are discussed in relation to transforming consciousness and are enlivened by fascinating, real-life stories of people who have engaged in deep processes of change and transformation.

At the end of each chapter there is an exercise that provides opportunities for experiential reflection, aiding you on your personal journey. With a preface by Tim O’Riordan, OBE, FBA, and emeritus professor of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, this is not just a learned exploration about psycho-spiritual transformation, it is a pathway to evolving entirely new ways of living creatively and harmoniously as a species.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Unselfish Spirit

Mick Collins, Tim O’Riordan

Paperback $25.95

One-Straw Revolutionary

One-Straw Revolutionary

By Larry Korn

One-Straw Revolutionary represents the first commentary on the work of the late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913 – 2008), widely considered to be natural farming’s most influential practitioner. Mr. Fukuoka is perhaps most known for his bestselling book The One-Straw Revolution (1978), a manifesto on the importance of no-till agriculture, which was at the time of publication a radical challenge to the global systems that supply the world’s food, and still inspires readers today. Larry Korn, who apprenticed with Mr. Fukuoka in Japan at the time, translated the manuscript and brought it to the United States, knowing it would change the conversation about food forever. The One-Straw Revolution, edited by Korn and Wendell Berry, was an immediate international success, and established Mr. Fukuoka as a leading voice in the fight against conventional industrial agriculture. In this new book, through his own personal narrative, Larry Korn distills his experience of more than thirty-five years of study with Mr. Fukuoka, living and working on his farm on Shikoku Island, and traveling with Mr. Fukuoka to the United States on two six-week visits.  

One-Straw Revolutionary is the first book to look deeply at natural farming and intimately discuss the philosophy and work of Mr. Fukuoka. In addition to giving his personal thoughts about natural farming, Korn broadens the discussion by pointing out natural farming’s kinship with the ways of indigenous cultures and traditional Japanese farming. At the same time, he clearly distinguishes natural farming from other forms of agriculture, including scientific and organic agriculture and permaculture. Korn also clarifies commonly held misconceptions about natural farming in ways Western readers can readily understand. And he explains how natural farming can be used practically in areas other than agriculture, including personal growth and development.

The book follows the author on his travels from one back-to-the-land commune to another in the countryside of 1970s Japan, a journey that eventually led him to Mr. Fukuoka’s natural farm. Korn’s description of his time there, as well as traveling with Mr. Fukuoka during his visits to the United States, offers a rare, inside look at Mr. Fukuoka’s life. Readers will delight in this personal insight into one of the world’s leading agricultural thinkers.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

One-Straw Revolutionary

Larry Korn

Paperback $19.95

Loving and Leaving the Good Life

Loving and Leaving the Good Life

By Helen Nearing

Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of Living the Good Life and many other bestselling books, lived together for 53 years until Scott's death at age 100. Loving and Leaving the Good Life is Helen's testimonial to their life together and to what they stood for: self-sufficiency, generosity, social justice, and peace.

In 1932, after deciding it would be better to be poor in the country than in the city, Helen and Scott moved from New York Ciy to Vermont. Here they created their legendary homestead which they described in Living the Good Life: How to Live Simply and Sanely in a Troubled World, a book that has sold 250,000 copies and inspired thousands of young people to move back to the land.

The Nearings moved to Maine in 1953, where they continued their hard physical work as homesteaders and their intense intellectual work promoting social justice. Thirty years later, as Scott approached his 100th birthday, he decided it was time to prepare for his death. He stopped eating, and six weeks later Helen held him and said goodbye.

Loving and Leaving the Good Life is a vivid self-portrait of an independent, committed and gifted woman. It is also an eloquent statement of what it means to grow old and to face death quietly, peacefully, and in control. At 88, Helen seems content to be nearing the end of her good life. As she puts it, "To have partaken of and to have given love is the greatest of life's rewards. There seems never an end to the loving that goes on forever and ever. Loving and leaving are part of living."

Helen's death in 1995 at the age of 92 marks the end of an era. Yet as Helen writes in her remarkable memoir, "When one door closes, another opens." As we search for a new understanding of the relationships between death and life, this book provides profound insights into the question of how we age and die.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Loving and Leaving the Good Life

Helen Nearing

Paperback $25.00

Dazzle Gradually

Dazzle Gradually

By Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan

At the crossroads of philosophy and science, the sometimes-dry topics of evolution and ecology come alive in this new collection of essays--many never before anthologized. Learn how technology may be a sort of second nature, how the systemic human fungus Candida albicans can lead to cravings for carrot cake and beer, how the presence of life may be why there's water on Earth, and many other fascinating facts.

The essay "Metametazoa" presents perspectives on biology in a philosophical context, demonstrating how the intellectual librarian, pornographer, and political agitator Georges Bataille was influenced by Russian mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky and how this led to his notion of the absence of meaning in the face of the sun--which later influenced Jacques Derrida, thereby establishing a causal chain of influence from the hard sciences to topics as abstract as deconstruction and post-modernism.

In "Spirochetes Awake" the bizarre connection between syphilis and genius in the life of Friedrich Nietzsche is traced. The astonishing similarities of the Acquired-Immune-Deficiency-Syndrome symptoms with those of chronic spirochete infection, it is argued, contrast sharply with the lack of evidence that "HIV is the cause of AIDS". Throughout these readings we are dazzled by the intimacy and necessity of relationships between us and our other planetmates. In our ignorance as "civilized" people we dismiss, disdain, and deny our kinship with the only productive life forms that sustain this living planet.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Dazzle Gradually

Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan, Roald Hoffman

Paperback $25.00