The 'balance of nature' is the most well-known idea from the discipline of ecology that has found its way into popular environmental thought. However, for decades, ecologists have been emphatically declaring that the idea of a 'balance in nature' is dead. But what motivation is there then to conserve ecosystems if there is no ideal 'balance' to restore? Heneghan argues that there are compelling reasons to restore ecosystems, which are not akin to holding onto an outdated views of ecosystems. Heneghan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at DePaul University.