National Geographic : 1992 Oct
success did not seem so elusive as it did here on the Pacific coast. "I'm not suggesting that all wetlands restorations are doomed to failure," she said. "But I do want to make the distinction between restoration for its own sake versus mitigation in the regulatory context, where restoration simply becomes a license to destroy habitat somewhere else." When we got back to our cars near the highway, I asked Zedler if she thought California might have a lesson to share with the rest of the nation. "Sure," she said. "The lesson is: Don't do what we did. Don't wait until it's too late. It's going to be incredibly expensive to try to turn back the clock when you've lost 91 percent of your wetlands acreage and species are threatened with extinction." For a moment then, I thought about asking her what particular species she had in mind, apart from the tern and the rail and the bird's beak. But I didn't. I figured that the three in peril already were about three more than you'd ever need for enough.