including our relationship with nature in its wildest and mostnprimitive forms — rather than one that sees nature as ancollection of objects somewhere “out there.” I believe thenshift to the new paradigm will come naturally, not precludingnthe old environmentalism, but encompassing it. And Inbelieve this shift — or rather growth — is taking place nownthrough the work of restorationists at places like PoplarnCreek.nIt goes without saying that relationships are subtle andnoften complex affairs. This is true of ecological relationshipsngenerally, and it is certainly true of the relationship betweenn”nature” and a species such as man, who has in certainnrespects transcended nature — or at least has brought somethingnnew into it in the form of a highly elaborated form ofncultural evolution. This form of evolution has substituted anrapid, electronic form of evolution-(thinking) for a muchnslower, chemical-based form of evolution through mutationnand natural selection. This has led to a widening gapnbetween human beings and the rest of nature — not justnsince the scientific revolution or even the invention ofnagriculture, but from the earliest tirnes of which we have anynrecord; a state of affairs that explains our preoccupation withnways of closing or at least bridging the gap between naturenand culture.nIt is in this context that we must consider environmentalismnand evaluate its success. We tend to think of environmentalismnas a modern political and social “movement.”nBut the broad complex of ideas represented by the wordn”environmentalism” is best regarded as a modern attempt tondeal with the ancient and fundamental issue of the relationshipnbetween human beings and nature—an ecological waynof posing the question, “What is man?”nEnvironmentalists have not been unmindful of this. Onenfinds throughout the writings of Thoreau and Aldo Leopold,nand more recently E.O. Wilson or Loren Eiseley, anninsistence on the importance of developing a healthy,nsustainable relationship with nature. Eiseley posed the issuenespecially well when, in The Invisible Pyramid, he wrote ofnman’s need to reenter “the sunflower forest” of originalnnature without leaving behind “what he has learned on thenpathway to the moon.”nIn the most concrete terms, what Eiseley is calling for is anway not merely of preserving but of actually reinhabiting thenwild. How to do so is tricky. Thoreau’s answer was to join anmarshland community quite literally, by wading into thenmarsh and spending a day like a muskrat, up to his eyes innthe water. But is this a solution? Quite apart from thenimpracticality, it is not natural. By spending his daysnimmersed, Thoreau is leaving behind much of his ownnbiological and cultural heritage. Besides, not even muskratsnsit all day meditating in the water; instead they go about theirnbusiness in the marsh, and in the process do much to buildnand shape the marsh ecosystem.nIt is the fact that this is exactly what people involved innefforts to restore natural ecosystems do that gives us the firstnclue to the value of restoration as a means of establishing anhealthy relationship with nature — a way to reenter thensunflower forest. The restorationist, in working over hisnpiece of land, in attempting to rebuild or shape it, managesnto establish a relationship with it that is both comprehensivenand constructive. As Leopold would put it, his work isn20/CHRONICLESnnn”mutually beneficial.”nTo see this, it is necessary to look beyond the product ofnthe restoration effort and to consider the process or act ofnrestoration itself and the relationship with nature it implies.nWhatever its results, whatever the precise nature or qualitynof its product, restoration represents a deliberate, intimatenparticipation in the ecology of the community or ecosystemnunder restoration. It raises a whole series of questions aboutnthe system for which the restorationist has to find answers.nThese include questions about composition and structure;nabout abiotic influences such as sunlight, water (rainfall,nhumidity, drainage), soils, climate; the functioning of thensystem (nutrient cycling, productivity, random or accidentalnevents such as storms, floods, or fires) and the way it maynchange over time.nRestoration also raises an essentially endless list of questionsnabout the behavior of the component species, relationshipsnbetween them, and their relationships with the variousnabiotic factors. The experience of restorationists at thenUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, where I worknand which has been the site of pioneering research onnecological restoration for more than half a century, providesnmany examples. It was early attempts here to restore tallgrassnprairie without the use of fire that led to some of the earliestninsights into the importance of fire in the ecology of thesencommunities. Efforts to introduce spring-blooming herbsninto a maple forest led to the discovery that ants probablynplay a critical role in the dispersal of many of these species.nIn the absence of the appropriate species of ants, the plantsnfailed to spread by seed, and formed odd mat-like clones,nquite uncharacteristic of natural, ant-endowed forests, wherenspring ephemerals such as bloodroot and wild ginger arensprinkled about the understory in twos and threes.nIn this way, by trying to assemble or reassemble thenecosystem, the restorationist in effect joins the natural community—becomesnan Indian setting fire to the prairie,nbecomes an ant gathering seed and hauling it off intonstorage — and in this way becomes privy to secrets thatnmight not be revealed even to the most attentive observer.nThus we find that restoration offers the scientist a way ofnreentering nature without abandoning any of the knowledgengained on the pathway to the moon; in fact, he will increasenthat knowledge.nWhat we see here is restoration as a way of establishingna fruitful intellectual relationship with a particularnlandscape in what might be called the ecological dimensionn— the dimension of space, or the landscape itself overnrelatively short periods of time (a few seasons, perhaps, or anfew lifetimes). This is one great value of restoration —nsimply that it gives us business to transact in the naturalnworld, liberating us from the passive role of observers.nMy friend Keith Wendt (formerly the Arboretum’snranger) and I used to discuss exactly what category ofnactivities restoration fit into. We decided on several. Fornstarters, restoration is obviously a healing art—medicine, ifnyou will, but medicine liberated from its preoccupation withna single species and devoted to the good of the whole;nmedicine in its most comprehensive and satisfactory form,nholistic medicine. Restoration is also a fine art, implying annintensely aesthetic response to nature that the restorationistn