Restoration Goes Wild: A Reply to Throop and Purdom


Address correspondence to E. S. Higgs, email


Throop and Purdom’s proposal for virtues based restoration is consistent with my concept of focal restoration, but their interpretation conflates focal restoration with participatory restoration. We disagree on the meaning of wilderness and on the appropriate underlying relationship between nature and culture, which affects how each of us regards the role of restoration in so-called wilderness. I prefer the term “wildness” over wilderness precisely because the former locates the power of meaning in process rather than place. The primary metaphors we used to describe the proper role of restoration differ, too. Throop and Purdom prefer “healing,” whereas my preference is for “design” as a way of acknowledging the moral implications of restoration interventions in natural processes.