Many of us have had profound moments of connection with a non-human being. Reconnection Ecology supports and validates the importance of those experiences, helping to bring them to the forefront of our lives; grounding us. Our reconnection can be at any emotional level but the deeper it is, the more impact it has in reorganizing our life path to serve in the line of Life, with purpose, direction and joy.
Scientific objectivity is valuable, but used alone can disconnect us from the wisdom and passion of our emotions for a fuller understanding of how nature works. A one-sided view in either direction distorts the picture. Without connection, through which flows information that is elemental, primal—a visceral knowing—we flounder. We make short-sighted environmental and technological decisions rather than decisions that enhance the vitality of our Earth. We miss the joyous essence of this resonant web of life in which we are embedded.
“In thinking about individuals within species … we also have to think about wilderness. I have to think about the scale that is necessary for these individuals to thrive, and the importance of wildlife corridors. We all have to work together both in a vision of what living with other beings looks like but also the real hard work of protecting these corridors…I would call that a pragmatic vision that Susan and Jean hold steady here.”
Terry Tempest Williams, author and Earthfire retreat leader
The Reconnection Ecology Model
Earthfire Institute is the pioneer of Reconnection Ecology, a framework which changes how we think about ecology and which can be applied by anyone, anywhere. At Earthfire, we do this by bringing people and rescued wildlife together in intimate connection. From there, our awareness begins to expand to the whole of nature, helping us realize the need for a fundamental change in our approach to ecological thinking. Deep connection creates a new understanding of how nature works and thus how to work with her.
The most powerful and transformational form of Reconnection Ecology adopts an intentional focus on deepening our relationships with individual animals and nature, driving behavioral and policy shifts needed to protect the environment. This requires:
“A different and stronger way to reconnect people with wildlife is illustrated by Earthfire Institute. Part of the strength of the Earthfire connection lies in the immersive experience where barriers between animals and wildlife are removed.”
Michael J. Bryant, Biologist/Statistician, Professor and Associate Dean at California Institute of the Arts
Experiencing Reconnection Ecology
at Earthfire Institute
Situated within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Yellowstone to Yukon Wildlife Corridor,upon which countless species depend, Earthfire has lived the practice and witnessed the success of Reconnection Ecology for more than 20 years. The stories of Earthfire’s animals give voice to the voiceless and instill in us a sense of empathy, responsibility, and stewardship.
Through profound moments of engagement with wildlife, we begin to see the individuality of each bear or wolf or fox—which changes the way we think about the species—and from there, the other living beings that surround us.