Beyond The War On Invasives - Tao Orion #173

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In the final installment of our invasive species series, we hear from Tao Orion — author and permaculturist — for a new perspective on invasives that links restoration with thoughtful habitat design. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Tao has dedicated her life to the art and science of regenerative living. She has a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture and has studied under some of the world’s leading permaculture teachers. She co-owns Resilience Permaculture Design with her husband. Tao offers an alternative conversation on invasives with her book, Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Perspective on Ecosystem Restoration. She believes that deep and long-lasting ecological restoration outcomes will come not just from eliminating invasive species, but through conscientious redesign of these production systems.

In this episode, Tao shares how we can look to permaculture to inspire solutions to non-native invasive species and ecosystem restoration. She explains the restoration movement and imparts fundamental ecological knowledge to give context to our on-going invasives conversation. We also discuss ways to have meaningful conversations about invasive species without the divisiveness that can often arise from this controversial topic. Tao leaves us with some excellent strategies to participate in species and land stewardship as foragers with the goal of moving towards regeneration in ecosystems. Enjoy, and let’s keep this conversation going!


  • Show introduction
  • Introducing Tao Orion
  • What ignited Tao’s passion for permaculture
  • The invasive species argument
  • Monsanto’s role in invasive species
  • Glyphosate explained
  • The restoration movement
  • Tending the wild
  • Succession and agricultural disturbances
  • Discussing invasives without the divisiveness 
  • Shifting our relationship to land management
  • How do foragers participate in species and land stewardship
  • Tao’s prognosis for the future of the human species

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Meet Tao


Tao Orion graduated from UC Santa Cruz after majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture. She participated in the 2001 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the UC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, and received a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture. She received a Certificate of Permaculture Design from Max Lindegger at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village in Australia in 2002.

Tao participated in Cascadia Permaculture’s Permaculture Teacher Training Course in 2006, as well as a Keyline Design Course with Darren Doherty; and an Advanced Permaculture Course in Earthworks with Geoff Lawton in 2007. She is also a graduate of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon.

Tao is the author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Perspective on Ecosystem Restoration. She is passionate about linking restoration with thoughtful design of human and non-human habitat.