Our society is dependent on natural resource extraction. The monetary value derived from ecosystem services and natural resource extraction, including water, timber, minerals, and fossil fuels, drives our economies at a rate of hundreds of trillions of dollars annually. Farming activities make use of 52 percent of US lands (USDA 2021) and contribute to a net loss of biodiversity through monocultures, factory farming, and overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. Extraction and conventional agriculture combined are detrimentally impacting ecosystems to undermine long term ecological resilience and human well-being. Increasing agricultural resilience, responsible and adequate land use remediation, and implementing effective forms of green infrastructure, are critical to maintaining biodiversity and preserving human and non-human survival, as biodiversity is central to system resilience and function.
Ecologists, planners, regional stakeholders, landscape architects, and conservationists can work together to remediate and reimagine post-extractive landscapes and restore areas depleted by conventional agricultural practices and livestock farming. Communities that protect ecosystems also protect livelihoods, tax bases, and government revenue sources, such as in the case of recreational economies. Designing to sustain and increase biodiversity enhances the quality and quantity of services that ecosystems provide.
Interwoven threats of temperature rise, drought, wildfire, climate change, extractive practices, and urban development pose increasing threats to regional biodiversity. Wright Ingraham-Institute’s Grants program helps protect biodiversity by funding small- and mid-scale conservation and green infrastructure efforts both in and around the Colorado area, and globally.
Resilient design and research efforts that focus on biodiversity loss and extraction might produce outcomes such as:
Public Knowledge Production (Manuals and “Explainers”)
Why Are Animals Dying on Our Roads?, ARC Solutions
Biophilic Cities Lead the Way to Urban Sustainability, The Dirt blog
Thomas Rainer: There Are No Mulch Circles in the Forest, The Dirt blog
Recreating Wildlife Habitat in Cities, The Dirt blog
The Science Behind the Need for Riparian Buffer Protection, WeConserve PA
Halting the Extinction Crisis, Center for Biological Diversity
Greenest City Action Plan, City of Vancouver
Example Products and Outcomes
What is missing? Maya Lin Studio (online artist project and archive)