Disturbed Land Restoration
Disturbed lands: Landforms where the natural conditions and processes have been impacted by development (e.g. facilities, roads, mines, dams, abandoned campgrounds) and/or by agricultural practices (e.g. farming, grazing, timber harvest, abandoned irrigation ditches).
Restoration: The process of assisting the recovery of disturbed
areas and reintegrating the site into the surrounding natural system. Restoration
activities may be biological (reintroduction of species), structural (removal
of undesirable species), physical (restoration of natural topography), or
chemical (nutrient additions) in nature. Active management also includes removal
of the human disturbance(s) that are causing resource degradation or that
are preventing natural recovery of a site. Restoration work includes all actions
taken to recover lands disturbed by development or agricultural use, and the
effects of such development, to return the site to it’s a condition
and function replicating what would have been there without human intervention.
The actions may include rehabilitation, reclamation, and mitigation, as long
as this work results in the complete removal of the development and its effects
or permanent closure (e.g. mine shafts).
Reclamation: Actions that are oriented toward ecological upgrading of certain processes or functions, such as hydrologic functions or revegetation potential, but that stop short of restoring pre-disturbance natural conditions.
Recovery: The degree to which a disturbance has regained its pre-disturbance ecological form and function (physically and biologically) without human actions such as restoration, reclamation, revegetation, and so on.
Reference conditions/sites: Conditions and processes at naturally functioning sites in the ecological zone that represents the system to be restored. Reference conditions are often used as models for restoration design or to measure the success of restoration or reclamation.
Resilience: The natural or internal capacity of components
of an ecological system such as plant community or stream morphology to recover.
Restored: is the point in the project where disturbed land areas no longer require active management and the site has reached a planned condition, although the area may still require periodic maintenance (e.g. prescribed fire). The determination of "restored" acknowledges that the system may continue to recover over time through inherent natural processes and adaptations of resilience.