In the early 1920s and the dawn of government land regulations, Aldo Leopold foresaw that the coming impact of humankind could destroy the last vestige of wilderness if no voice were raised in protest.
Leopold lent his own eloquence to the challenge of defending the land, and his words resound more poignantly today than ever. A forester, game manager, scientist, teacher, and writer, Leopold was also a visionary, whose concept of a land ethic serves as the philosophical underpinning of the modern-day conservation movement. Urging the need for land-responsibility by the individual, he was convinced that wilderness had a place in a world filled with man-made turmoil. A 1909 graduate of Yale Forestry School, Leopold spent the early days of his career as a ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico. He left the Southwest in 1924 to become assistant director of the Forest Products Laboratory in Wisconsin for four years, before resigning to devote his time to the development of the science of game management.
In 1933, Leopold accepted the chair of game management post at the University of Wisconsin, the first such position to be established in the nation. That same year, he published his classic textbook, Game Management. Later his prolific writings and astute, yet poetic observations of nature would inspire countless others to learn and care about the natural world.
His final book, A Sand County Almanac, is perhaps his greatest gift to future generations. A beautifully articulated expression of the relationship between people and the land, it gave birth to the concept of a land ethic and has sowed the seeds of stewardship in readers ever since. Aldo Leopold's intellectual capacity, his original thinking, and his brilliant philosophies make him a legend among environmental pioneers. His eloquent and enduring writing will serve as a beacon for conservationists for generations to come.
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