The very first guest on the Wild Plant Culture Podcast is Leslie Sauer. Her book The Once and Future Forest inspired me to become an ecological restoration practitioner and continues to inform so much of my work propagating native plants, monitoring natural communities, and repairing degraded habitats. I'm so happy to welcome her as the very first guest on the Wild Plant Culture podcast.
Leslie Sauer, a founder emeritus of Andropogon Associates, is a pioneer in the field of restoring and managing native landscapes. Through innovative strategies and techniques, she has directed the reestablishment of natural systems in a wide range of sensitive, degraded, and developed environments. Leslie was a key player in watershed management projects including the Flood Protection Plan for the Passaic River in New Jersey and the Management Plan for the Rockaway River Watershed. Her park projects range from Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City to National Parks. Leslie was on the board of the Society for Ecological Restoration as well as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the landscape architecture Masters program. Her book, The Once and Future Forest (Island Press) is a guidebook for restoring and managing forest systems.
In our conversation, Leslie talks about the early days of ecological restoration, forming Andropogon Associates on a shoestring, how doing model projects didn't always have the intended effect, and about compliance vs. performance, engineers, pipelines and much more. She's a true elder in the best sense of the word and has a fiery intellect and spirit. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Leslie!
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all music by Jared Rosenbaum.