Eco-­Cultural Restoration in Colorado

by Eric Toensmeier

The Woodbine Ecology Center is a unique educational center in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, offering courses, workshops, and events inspired by social ecology. Woodbine’s goal is eco-­cultural restoration, bringing back the traditions of indigenous management that shaped the landscape for thousands of years. Their goal is to use these traditional species and ecosystem management practices to contribute to indigenous self-­determination, decolonization of the diet, and ecological restoration that embraces traditional indigenous management practices. Being located at the edge between the Rocky Mountains and the prairies, Woodbine has many species to draw on as well as a fascinating history to reconstruct.

The first phase is to draw on books like Daniel Moerman’s Native American Ethnobotany and other resources to gather additional information about useful species of the region and what is known of their traditional management. Plans for later phases include interviews with indigenous people who actively manage or historically managed these species and landscapes, establishment of more species and practices at Woodbine, and development of regenerative enterprises for economic development.

Full article (a work in progress) is at http://www.woodbinecenter.org/indigenous-management.

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