Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating A Native Forest

From the makers of the film: “We’ve made the film free to view because we want the important messages of land regeneration, nature connection, and living more simply to reach as many people as possible.

We hope you’re as inspired by the story of Hinewai Reserve.. as we are. Please feel free to share the link with anyone you feel would be interested.

Enjoy the film!”

Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.

Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

Hope in a Changing Climate – by John D. Liu

Hope in a Changing Climate optimistically reframes the debate on global warming. Illustrating that large, decimated eco-systems can be restored, the BBC World documentary reveals success stories from Ethiopia, Rwanda and China which prove that bringing large areas back from environmental ruin is possible, and key to stabilising the earth’s climate, eradicating poverty and making sustainable agriculture a reality.

Drawdown — The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming


“Drawdown is based on meticulous research that maps, measures, models, and describes the most substantive solutions to global warming that already exist. It is the most important goal for humanity to undertake.”

#1 Best-Selling Environmental Book of 2017

Here is a link to a list of the top 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming.   All of it is so positive and hopeful that it’s well worth sharing.   Many of us are already aware of the direness of our global situation and because so much of the news we get is simply scary, it often generates a feeling of hopelessness in many of us. Perhaps it is that feeling of hopelessness that keeps people from doing the small things like replacing plastic bags with their own cloth bags at stores.

It seems critically important that we understand that it is NOT hopeless – that there are things we humans are already doing that can work if they are supported and expanded upon.

Here are just a few of the Solutions listed on Drawdown’s website that are related to gardening, growing food and permaculture – with the rating number and a link to the small article:

#9 Silvopasture

#11 Regenerative Agriculture

#15 Afforestation

#16 Conservation Agriculture

#17 Tree Intercropping

#23 Farmland Restoration

#28 Multistrata Agroforestry

#35 Bamboo

#51 Perennial Biomass

#60 Composting

#62 Women Smallholders

#72 Biochar

“The objective of the solutions list is to be inclusive, presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies. These initiatives improve lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health.”

permaculture farm


The Rodale Institute farm in Kutztown, PA: 333 acres of formerly degraded farmland restored to productivity and biosequestration through regenerative agriculture.

Conventional wisdom has long held that the world cannot be fed without chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. Evidence points to a new wisdom: The world cannot be fed unless the soil is fed. Regenerative agriculture enhances and sustains the health of the soil by restoring its carbon content, which in turn improves productivity—just the opposite of conventional agriculture.

Regenerative agricultural practices include:

  • no tillage,
  • diverse cover crops,
  • in-farm fertility (no external nutrients),
  • no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and
  • multiple crop rotations.

Together, these practices increase carbon-rich soil organic matter. The result: vital microbes proliferate, roots go deeper, nutrient uptake improves, water retention increases, plants are more pest resistant, and soil fertility compounds. Farms are seeing soil carbon levels rise from a baseline of 1 to 2 percent up to 5 to 8 percent over ten or more years, which can add up to 25 to 60 tons of carbon per acre.

It is estimated that at least 50 percent of the carbon in the earth’s soils has been released into the atmosphere over the past centuries. Bringing that carbon back home through regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest opportunities to address human and climate health, along with the financial well-being of farmers.



A Few Restoration Activities to get involved in…

Gilbert Creek, Grants Pass, OR
Hello fish heads,
I hope that everyone is getting off to a good new year.  I wanted to let you know about upcoming opportunities for restoration plantings on a few small streams in our area.

Gilbert Creek Park (Grants Pass):

Jan 27   9:00 – 2:00 pm:  Prep, willow cutting

Feb 3   8:30/9:00 – 2:00 pm:  Planting (some high school kids will hopefully be joining us).


Blue Heron Park (Phoenix) :

Feb 6   Noon-3:00 pm:  With Phoenix High School.  We would gladly take 2-4 volunteers here in the morning to help with willow cuttings for the kids.


Whetstone Planting (Denman Wildlife Area, ODFW Office-Central Point):

Feb 9 – 9:00 am – early afternoon Willows cutting and planting, some brushwhacking, re-fencing trees to protect against the beaver, prep for irrigation

Feb 23 – 9:00 am – early afternoon –  Trees and irrigation laying


Thompson Creek (Selma) with Oregon Stewardship:

Feb 16 – If a few volunteers would like to join here, that would be great. Please let me know beforehand. Otherwise, Jim Hutchins will have most of this taken care of, but I’ll be joining him.

Ryan Battleson
Assistant District Fish Biologist
Salmon Trout Enhancement Program (STEP)
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Rogue District Watershed
1495 East Gregory Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502
541-826-8774 ext 226 (Office)
541-826-8776 (Fax)