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Aldo Leopold's - Land Ethic

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Aldo Leopold's - Land Ethic

Aldo Leopold's philosophies on land ethic seem to go hand in hand with natural resource management. Natural resource management simply means the way in which our resources are obtained, and then dispersed in a highly efficient manner. Leopold's land ethic refers to how the environment should be appreciated and respected in regards to its use.

Leopold emphasizes strongly the importance of land ethic because he believes the desire for it is just not there. For the average person land exists to satisfy their own needs. Whether it's used for development, recreation, or simply ownership, it's the same consensus; People do not serve the land, the land serves the people. It is due to this mentality that sets forth Aldo Leopold's teachings and philosophies. He feels that if nothing is done the quality of land will eventually become degraded beyond repair. There is a great lack of knowledge about Ecology in public educational institutions. (Knight, A New Century 125)

"There is as yet no ethic dealing with man's relationship to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it." (Leopold, Almanac, With Essays 238) Since in the earliest times human beings have taken on the dominant role of utilizing natural resources. There has always been the attitude of ownership, rather than actually being a part of the land.

In regards to natural resource management, Leopold, gives a new perspective with his land ethic. There has been an on going struggle between the traditional utilitarianism and the non-utilitarianism beliefs. What Aldo Leopold does is combine certain aspects of both sides to find common ground amongst the bicentric and the anthropocentric views. (Knight, A New Century 113)

Leopold's views are more along the lines of the multiple-use policies that are currently implemented in today's natural resource management agencies. Leopold strives to see a perfectly balanced system that can uphold the values of conservation, while simultaneously meeting societal demands for goods and services.

The old Utilitarian traditions may have been widely accepted in the past, because there has always been a sort of self-sustaining balance between people and nature. It's quite simple; nature provides resources and the population uses what is needed. In modern times though, the substantially large and continually growing population along with extreme improvements in technology, has put an overwhelming strain on this balance. The land ethic of Aldo Leopold describes a way in which to maintain a steady relationship between man and the environment. A way in which there can be harmony. (Leopold, Almanac, With Essays 254)

In this day and age, the short term economic models and the largely commodity based society gives little thought about the correlation of the environment, and how crucial it is to maintain natural resources,

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