Aldo Leopold

a thing is right when it  tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.    

Why an appreciation for country as more than just pretty landscape.

Sacramento River


Flood in the Sacramento River Valley, northern California, 2005-06.

ecological comprehension

[genetic viability, ecological habitat and sensory appeal of places].


The farmer's failure was a failure to grasp elementary earth facts.  Like tobacco and cotton farmers of the South, they abused the land because they were ignorant of its laws of self-renewal.  Aldo Leopold, who later looked with a scientist's eye on the prairie country, saw the subtle interrelations the settlers had missed:

"The black prairie was built by the prairie plants, a hundred distinctive species of grasses, herbs, and shrubs; by the prairie fungi, insects, and bacteria; one humming community of cooperations and competitions, one biota.  This biota, through ten thousand years of living and dying, burning and growing, preying and fleeing, freezing and thawing, built that dark and bloody ground we call prairie.

p. 73. quote from: Stewart Udall, The Quiet Crisis, (1963)

A Taste for Country

Bison Range in Yellowstone National Park on the short grass and sage brush prairie.

Why is Aldo Leopold important?


Last Updated on September 21, 2007.

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