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Aldo Leopold

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Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold--Nature Above All

"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land." In this phrase from the book, A Sand County Almanac, author Aldo Leopold expresses the most basic concept of land preservation and conservation.

Born in Burlington, Iowa in 1887, Aldo Leopold always had a keen interest in nature. He spent much of his childhood wandering through the forests, prairies, and streams near his home, and as a young adult he attended Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. After college, he earned a Master’s Degree in Forestry from Yale University in Connecticut.

Following the completion of his Master’s Degree, Leopold joined the United States Forest Service and worked at the Apache National Forest in Arizona. His experience there was essential to his future, as he developed an idea of the environmental community. To Leopold, a community was more than just the interactions of humans. His notion of community encompassed humans, animals, and plants. This idea was the foundation of his land ethic philosophy: “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.”

After nineteen years in the American Southwest, Leopold was transferred to a research laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. Soon after, he began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he remained until his death in 1948.

In addition to his teaching, Leopold co-founded The Wilderness Society in 1935 in an effort to educate people about the importance of wildlife and reduce the damage caused to existing

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