Happy Birthday Aldo Leopold

Happy Birthday Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948) — American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, hunter, fisherman, professor, philospher, conservationist and widely considered the “father of wildlife management.” He may perhaps be best known for his 1949 classic, “A Sand County Almanac” (Which is well worth the read!)

Here’s a sampling of some of his more popular thoughts:

* “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

* “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

* “All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively the land.”

* “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”

* “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching–even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”

* “We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.”

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

* “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”

* “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”

* “Man always kills the thing he loves. And so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.”

* “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: ‘What good is it?”

Do you have some favorite Leopold quotes we left out? Please share!

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