Mariah Parker, Echo Online Staff Writer
On Monday, Feb. 28, students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered in Jensen Lecture Hall to hear Alan Haney and Steven Apfelbaum discuss their recent book, Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land.
Currently dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Haney began teaching ecology, forestry and biology at Warren Wilson in 1978 and was one of the founding members of the environmental studies department and the emerging forestry concentration. He was also integral in drafting the college’s first Forest Management Plan in 1980.
Haney and Apfelbaum met at the University of Illinois while Apfelbaum was working on his graduate degree. With Haney’s help, Apfelbaum went on to create one of the biggest ecosystem restoration firms in the United States. The two have worked together on countless restoration projects across the country as well as abroad. Decades of experience and hundreds of projects have enabled the duo to compile Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land, which provides landowners with a step-by- step guide to maintaining ecological health on their properties.
“There’s lots of technical information available about ecosystem restoration, but few people know how to utilize it,” Haney said. Aware of this gap, Island Books approached the duo about publishing a how-to manual for landowners interested in preserving the natural ecology of their land.
The book details systematic and continuous approaches that work in congruence with natural environmental processes.
“It’s about figuring out where nature wants to take a system and helping it to reach that goal,” the team explained. Each of the 10 steps builds on previous steps.
“It’s not something you do once and walk away from,” Haney said. “It can be months, even years, but it’s a healthy, absorbing hobby that can bring together families, friends and neighbors and ultimately restore nature.”
Island Books will begin printing a sequel to Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land in the coming weeks.