Idea of a Restoration Corps

Pescadero walking bridge crushed by a redwood May 2023 / Burnt sequoia downed by a sharp embankment formed on Caples Creek May 2023

Conservation corp jobs are appealing but we must also recognize what has gotten us into this place. The foundations of our knowledge and management should be built around the principle of stewardship and the role that we must play in the natural world. In a modern world of ecological destruction, spread of invasive species and rampant habitat loss we cannot think of rebuilding the natural world and leaving it. Instead we must orient ourselves towards principles of maintenance and upkeep. For example if one proposed outright restoration of the Salinas River and its wetland network, there would be an immediate roadblock of the loss of jobs and agricultural yield. We must find ways to present and prove that restoration is better in the long run, there would be jobs in ecological maintenance and upkeep, not to mention using the natural systems for more sustainable agricultural productivity. As we see the damages wrought by this year’s extreme weather, I hope we begin to think about how we rebuild so it doesn’t happen again and what we can do on-the-ground to mitigate destruction in the first place.