Re-Creating Nature

Is it really “sustainable” to spend millions of dollars and consume fuel/resources (human, powered, or otherwise) to “re-create” nature? At what point did we decide that a certain landscape should remain in that desired state forever? Are many of our coastlines really any more natural than a grown-over parking lot anymore? If left to their own devices, they would shift and flux…and probably destroy our expensive real estate and roads, of course.  I’m interested in exploring the idea that certain landscapes have more cultural value to us, and those are the ones we spend a lot of money “preserving” even though no landscape is static: it may not have looked like that one hundred years ago, and it won’t in another hundred years – unless we spend a lot of effort “preserving” it! What do you think? Did you know San Francisco originally had virtually no trees? Check out this photo of the Sunset district (undated – but pre-1920s) from the San Francisco Public Library’s online historic photo archive:

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