In: Campbell, Lindsay K.; Svendsen, Erika; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Hines, Sarah J.; Maddox, David, eds. Green readiness, response, and recovery: A collaborative synthesis. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-185. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 14-20.
Research and experience have demonstrated that environmental stewardship, including a wide variety of community greening efforts, can play a key role in helping communities recover from disasters and disturbance. These include both natural disturbances—for example, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfire—and human-caused disasters, such as terrorism and other forms of violence. Moreover, we recognize that, now more than ever in the age of the Anthropocene, all disturbances are rooted in both natural and social causes. The immediate aftermath of disturbance events requires a swift response and mitigation that focuses on health and safety. Various government programs are devoted to this work within the USDA Forest Service (e.g., incident command teams, urban forest strike teams, burned area emergency response) and in other federal, state, and local agencies. However, midto long-term recovery efforts typically have a different constellation of needs, including rebuilding both infrastructure and communities. As communities pull together to recover and rebuild, the mid- to long-term recovery stages offer many opportunities to adapt, learn, and cultivate community resilience. Greening and community-based natural resource stewardship can play a large role in longer-term recovery; research and practice have demonstrated that these stewardship activities are key to enabling recovery and building readiness and long-term resilience to future disturbances. Stories related to enabling readiness, recovery, and resilience through stewardship are the focus of this book.