Habitat Restored?

Back in the days when I was a consulting botanist, one of the many hats I wore from time to time was that of “habitat restoration planner.”  I contributed to technical reports on how to prepare sites for revegetation, what to plant there, when, and how.  Sometimes I got to help with the planting and subsequent monitoring.  In the end, I hoped to help fix the collateral damage caused by a development project or some past ecological sin; to bring life back to a piece of ground damaged beyond its normal capacity for self-repair.

But one wonders how well it will work. Will the plants survive? Will the weather cooperate? Will the irrigation system be maintained as required? Will the wooden stakes, plastic collars, wire pin flags, and other paraphernalia of restoration practice ever be picked up and removed?  And even if the place comes to function as a natural habitat in a decade or two, will it ever really LOOK natural again?

I came upon one such place recently while walking the dog, during a trip to Carmel. This site was planted less than 2 years ago beside a new pedestrian/bike underpass at the start of Carmel Valley Road. Time will tell, but it appears to be off to a very good start.

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The underpass, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as clean as it was the day it opened.

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Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2013 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.

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About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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