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Nature's Writers Trail: Leopold

Library Guide for the Nature Writer's Trail.

Aldo Leopold
January 11, 1887 - April 21, 1948

American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist all describe Aldo Leopold. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac. Among his best known ideas is the “land ethic,” which calls for an ethical, caring relationship between people and nature. He was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. During his tenure with the Forest Service, he began to see the land as a living organism and developed the concept of community. This concept became the foundation upon which he became conservation's most influential advocate.

  • "Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to our values as yet uncaptured by language."

  • "Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left."

  • "Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its costs in natural things, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television."

  • As early as 1910 he was one of the forest assistants at the Apache National Forest which is in the Arizona territory.
  • He wrote the Forest Service’s very first fish and game handbook in 1923.
  • He also proposed the Gila Wilderness Area which is America’s first national wilderness area recorded in the Forest Service system.
  • In the fall of 1935 he studied forestry and wildlife management in Germany, thanks to a Carl Schurz fellowship
  • Aldo published over 300 articles about the wilderness in his lifetime.

  • Game Management. (1933)
  • A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There (1949)

  • In July 1933, he accepted appointment to a new chair of game management in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin.
  • In 1939 he becomes chair of a new Department of Wildlife Management at the University of Wisconsin.
  • In 2004 Governor James Doyle signs legislation making the first weekend in March Aldo Leopold Weekend across Wisconsin.

For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings

For the Health of the Land, a new collection of rare and previously unpublished essays by Leopold, builds on that vision of ethical land use and develops the concept of "land health" and the practical measures landowners can take to sustain it.

The River of the Mother of God

This book brings together the best of Leopold's essays.

A Sand County Almanac

The book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation.

Game Management (Interlibrary Loan)

Aldo Leopold's ideal game management.

Round River (Interlibrary Loan)

he journal entries included here were written in camp during his many field trips--hunting, fishing, and exploring--and they indicate the source of ideas on land ethics found in his longer essays. They reflect as well two long canoe trips in Canada and a sojourn in Mexico, where Leopold hunted deer with bow and arrow.

Aldo Leopold's Wilderness (Interlibrary Loan)

We remember Aldo Leopold as a man who showed us the earth in ways we had never seen it before and who compelled us, with a strength belied by his eloquent and gentle words, to accept Nature on her own terms. But there is another Leopold, a younger man, one who was still grappling with the idea of ecology. Leopold started out not as a writer, not as a spokesman, but as a forester.