Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Aldo Leopold Report

Aldo Leopold was born in 1887, in Iowa. While he grew up, he spent most of his time outdoors, exploring the wilderness. He was sent East, to New Jersey, for his high school, and although he did eventually graduate, he was often so busy with being outside that he didn't always do his homework, and in fact flunked some of his subjects.

When Leopold graduated high school, he went to Yale, and graduated with a degree in forestry. He joined the Forest Service and went to the Arizona Territories. It was there that he originally started observing the connections between people and the land, and started to develop his ideas of a "community" between the wilderness and humans. When he transferred to a laboratory in Wisconsin, he convinced the Forest Service to protect 500,000 acres of a forest in New Mexico, as wilderness.

A few years later, Leopold accepted an offer from the University of Wisconsin to teach a program in game management. Two years later, he helped form The Wilderness Society, The same year, he and his wife, and their children, bought 80 acres of abandoned/ruined farm land to try to restore. An abandoned chicken coop on the property, fondly named "The Shack", became the Leopold's research center, and the family spent almost all of their weekends on the land, planting hundreds of trees in an effort to restore the health to the land.

It was around that time when Aldo Leopold started writing his Sand County Almanac, a collection of nature writings which he is most famous for. The book was originally rejected, but after being edited, was accepted. Unfortunately, Leopold never got to see it in print. He died a week after it was accepted from a heart attack while he was fighting a forest fire. It was printed a year after he died, and is still in print today. Leopold wrote about 500 published articles, pamphlets, essays, and works, and there are still more of his journals that are unpublished.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Aldo Leopold- The Wilderness Society
The Encyclopedia of Earth- A Sand County Almanac

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