Resilience: Cooperation of Social and Ecological Systems
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Within recent years there has been a monumental awareness put towards environmental sustainability and resilience in response to the effects of humankind's continued imposition on existent ecological processes. Whether they be industrial developments or more specifically agricultural practices, continued fragmentation of complex adaptive systems creates radical changes in ecological systems that extend far beyond a given developmental footprint. If adequate balances can be reached between agriculture and natural processes more aspects of landscape resilience can successfully adapt to the inevitable changes in the worlds ecology. Allowing ecological systems to continue is crucial to the preservation of all life and progression planet wide. An assessment and synthesis of complex adaptive systems across the Western Rice Creek watershed, an approximate 800,000 acres, will be condensed and explained in the following texts, to illustrate the interactions among social-ecological components in a given landscape. A compiled developmental plan for the county will illustrate the most efficient use of lands to support ecological resilience. And more directly detail the disturbance regimes from massive hydrological flooding that is currently common throughout the area. The main issues being storm water retention, hydrological filtration, critical slow variables, disturbance regimes, alternative stable states, and crossscale linkages among adaptive cycles all of witch relate to both ecological systems that interconnect with existing or growing social systems. By creating an adaptive management plan for sustainable agriculture and watershed restoration, we can maximize the greatest benefits that arise from maintaining as many site specific variables and interactions as possible. If we can reach a balance that is mutually beneficial to human ways of life while still fostering ecological awareness towards sustaining resilience we can make sure our natural systems can still be used and enjoyed for future generations.