The concept of sustainability encompasses practices that aim to meet human needs in a way that considers future generations and can be indefinitely maintained. The sustainable stewardship of resources ensures that they are not depleted but are regenerated so that they may continue to be harvested. Sustainability has come to be a broad term for a perspective that includes recognition of the interconnectedness of ecology, economy, politics and culture and promotes healthy and diverse systems that improve quality of life.

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Sustainability

Sustainability

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Sustainability

Location: DOUGAN FALLS, SKAMANIA, WASHINGTON

Featuring: RUNNING SQUIRREL, NATIVE CHEROKEE

Sustainability means to him: "Respect mother earth. Respect the land. Learn from the animals. When foraging always leave something behind for whoever comes next. In this way you’re sure to find something when you come back.”

Running Squirrel forages for plants such as wood sorrel. He says, “If only the top three leaves are taken, a plant will regrow. If cut off at the ground, it dies. Most people, they want the whole plant. When the Indians came upon a new land and didn’t know what to eat, they asked Mother Earth for guidance. Her answer was to eat what the animals eat: elk, eat ferns, skunk cabbage and licorice root. Deer search for miners lettuce and wood sorrel. Rabbits like licorice root." Running Squirrel mixes it all together for his famous wild salad: lemon balm, mustard and wood sorrel for a “dry taste”; and miners lettuce, wood violets and chick weed for “moistness”.

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