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I like nature conservation - the idea of creating protected areas where nature lives on its own and wilderness is "created" like that. Is is possible to raise the natural value of land only by leaving it on its own - I mean in the way that humans do not touch the land in any way (buildings, roads etc.)?

I know about some "private" protected areas in Europe, where NGOs thought this piece of land should be protected but the authorities failed to do so, so they bought the land and took care of it themselves (restricted public access to help conservation, removed invasive species etc.)

I wonder what does it take to correctly protect an area - is it OK to leave the land alone and never touch it again or is it necessary to take care of it somehow. I mean things like invasive species (I can imagine the normal "unprotected" nature is full of them) like various types of grass, invasive animals etc. I can imagine this may be largely location dependent (some parts of the world are more influenced by humans than others). My location is the Czech Republic.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the concept of a 'correct' wilderness is unclear. There are some landscapes which have been suddenly 'left alone' by humans, and a meaningful answer could consider the general ecological trends of being 'left alone' in this way. Examples include the landscape around the Chernobyl, or abandoned farms. But then the question would be 'in the absence of deliberate conservation interventions, what measurable ecological benefits (e.g., changes in invasive-species populations) arise from simply leaving land alone?' Would you be happy to edit your question into that form? $\endgroup$ – bshane Sep 16 '16 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ Your question seems to ask exactly the same so what is the reason for rephrasement? $\endgroup$ – Kozuch Sep 16 '16 at 7:26
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    $\begingroup$ It removes the reference to a 'correct' wilderness. There is no such thing: natural areas may be managed towards specific goals, like maintaining the number of species present in the area, providing habitat for a key high-value species, or protecting key ecosystem services such as water retention. None of these are 'correct', but each outcome is measurable, and a 'desired' outcome can be defined in each case. $\endgroup$ – bshane Sep 16 '16 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Rephrased to "raise the natural value of land" - is that better? $\endgroup$ – Kozuch Sep 16 '16 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ This may be a better fit in Gardening & Landscaping $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Sep 17 '16 at 8:38
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I'll give you an example, because this question is pretty case specific. In Delhi, my hometown, they kept areas of the forest, the 'Sanjay Van' free from construction and people and only very recently started cleaning it up. As a result, an invasive variety of the Acacia tree (known locally as keekar) more or less took over the forest and has basically wreaked havoc on the wildlife. I think better than just letting Nature take it's course, humans should help get abandoned areas back to a sustainable point, where it can integrate with the wildlife, but again, it depends on each area.

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According to Peterkin, there are three types of naturalness - past natural (the way it was before humans), future natural (the way it would be if humans left it alone), and present natural (the way it would be now if humans had never touched it). How best to conserve a site will depend on what type of naturalness you want to achieve. There's no rational argument to prove any one type is "better" than any other in the long term, but many conservationists take a safe approach and adopt the strategy with the least risk of extinction (this being the only result one cannot undo), it would be a mistake though to presume that this strategy was definitely the best, it's just in some environments we can't afford to find out.

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The German Green Belt see here

I give you a another example. The green line in Germany. This is are are where the German Wall was (you know east and west Germany) This area was untouched by humans for 40 years. And now it is a protected area, because now its one of the last places for a lot of animals and plants to live.

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