In response to our recent article (Higgs et al. 2018) in these pages, George Gann and his coauthors defended the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) International Standards, clarified several points, and introduced some new perspectives. We offer this counter-response to address some of these perspectives. More than anything, our aims are in sharpening the field of restoration in a time of rapid scaling-up of interest and effort, and support further constructive dialogue going forward. Our perspective remains that there is an important distinction needed between Standards and Principles that is largely unheeded by Gann et al. (2018). We encourage SER to consider in future iterations of its senior policy document to lean on principles first, and then to issue advice on standards that meet the needs of diverse conditions and social, economic, and political realities.