Restoration is intended to accelerate the natural recovery of damaged ecosystems; addressing the root causes responsible for the immediate loss of habitat quantity and quality; and restoring the ecosystem processes that create and maintain habitats through time. Restoration is not intended to return a system to a pre-altered state or fixed condition but to help restore the structure, function, and ecological processes of a system. The tools and techniques behind ecosystem restoration are used to improve the biodiversity of degraded areas, increase the abundance and distribution of rare and threatened species, restore landscape connectivity, increase the quantity of environmental goods and services, and contribute to the improvement of human well-being.
Central Westcoast Forest Society has adopted an ecosystem approach to restoration that recognizes the inextricable links between species of an ecosystem. The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations call this interconnection Hishuk-ish-tsawalk. This understanding lends to the importance of adopting an inclusive process that integrates the multi-dimensional facets necessary for ecological restoration to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Central Westcoast Forest Society recognizes that ecosystems are also integrated into a dynamic economic, social, cultural, and spiritual dimension. This human element also needs to be incorporated into the restoration approach. Stewardship and reconnecting people with the environment is fundamental to restoration and ultimately to conservation efforts. Without effectively engaging people in habitat restoration past mistakes and injuries to the environment are yet to be repeated. Our connection to these ecosystems is a fundamendependence on healthy functioning ecosystems The culture and ecosystems that depend on wild salmon are threatened by their loss.
To be successful, wildlife recovery efforts require a holistic watershed-level approach. Restoration should be planned and managed at a watershed scale. Recovery efforts should be based on restoring and conserving ecosystems, rather than simply focusing on restoring a singular habitat attribute. Consideration, and restoration, of upslope and fluvial processes that create and maintain habitats must be integral components of any recovery program. The entire watershed should be managed for recovery.