Quit thinking about decent land-use as solely an economic problem. Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. 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.
—Aldo Leopold (1887– 1948), from A Sand County Almanac, published posthumously in 1949 one year after Leopold’s death.
This widely cited book is considered a landmark in the American conservation movement for its call to create a land ethic. Leopold wanted to understand humanity’s relationship with and obligations to the natural world. He is also known as the “father of wildlife management.” The naturalist and author would have been 125 years old today.