In an effort to restore and conserve this land, we have become very interested in the notion of rewilding. Rewilding is not a new concept, having been introduced in the 1990’s by Earth First. It involves in a nutshell a comprehensive, conservation effort that focuses on restoring sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem health. It does this by restoring and protecting wild areas, by providing connectivity between such areas and protecting or reintroducing “apex predators”, in our case, predatory birds, wild hogs and coyotes, and the native species they naturally interact with. The ultimate goal is to mitigate the species extinction crisis and restore healthy and sustainable ecosystem function. Anthropologist Layla Abdel Rahim points out that civilization has completely colonized the earth and imperiled life on the planet. Rewilding is a way to begin to restore the dynamic but stable self-regulating and self-sustaining ecosystems that once existed here.
At the Grange, tree and brush planting has already begun. So has wildlife restoration. The decision has been made to allow wild hogs and coyotes to thrive on our property alongside the deer, wild turkeys and the rest. Wildlife habitat has been left in place or created. Plantings to protect the riparian areas are underway.
Regarding the fauna and flora that are already in residence, a benign neglect strategy has been adopted. And perhaps of even greater importance, an educational component is being created, in an effort to spread the conservation philosophy to a much wider audience using the concept of the conservation cemetery as a starting place. And of course we are pioneering that cemetery right now.