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Aldo Leopold: America's pioneering conservationist

Widely credited with launching wildlife conservation in the United States, Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was a forester, writer, philosopher, and educator. A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry, Leopold began his professional career with the United States Forest Service, where he championed the principle of grounding land-management decisions in sound scientific information.

Leopold wrote many articles, essays, and books in his lifetime, but his greatest work was A Sand County Almanac (1949). This volume presents his ideas behind the "land ethic," which he described as a new relationship between humans and the natural world that would recognize soils, waters, plants, and animals as full participants in an ecological community with people.

Leopold operated at both local and national scales, whether attempting to restore the native flora and fauna on his own Wisconsin farm or working with public and private entities to set aside the first of many designated national wilderness areas. The ideas, principles, questions, and concerns he raised continue to challenge and influence conservationists and individuals committed to responsible land management.

At Cary Institute, we strive to enact many of the principles that Aldo Leopold so presciently put forward and to encourage the application of rigorous science to decisions that affect humans and the natural world on which humanity depends.