Mark T. brown

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Article Restricted

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Ecological Engineering

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The restoration of phosphate mined lands in Florida is large scale, potentially covering over 300,000 acres (121,000 ha), and rivals other restoration efforts like the Florida Everglades in size and complexity. The issues surrounding mining and subsequent restoration of the landscape are global, national, and local in scale. The entire system of phosphate mining and restoration involves local citizens, governmental agencies, research scientists, and industry personnel in a program that might be seen as adaptive management. It is suggested that restoration is managing adaptive self-organization of the ecosystems and landscapes and that it is the domain of ecological engineering. The past 30 years of research concerning various aspects of landscape restoration after phosphate mining are elucidated, and the research's relationship to management and regulation are discussed. Finally, the complex issues that are inherent in large restoration programs are discussed and it is suggested that a cooperative environment and vision may be the key elements that are missing.