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Aldo Leopold (1887 – 1948)


United States wildlife biologist and conservationist.
Aldo Leopold
He who hopes for spring with upturned eye never sees so small a thing as Draba. He who despairs of spring with downcast eye steps on it, unknowingly. He who searches for spring with his knees in the mud finds it, in abundance.
Leopold quotes
[This book] has done well to preserve this saga of how the state was made safe for cows. How the state is to be made safe from cows is a saga yet to be written.
Leopold
Like all real treasures of the mind, perception can be split into infinitely small fractions without losing its quality. The weeds in a city lot convey the same lesson as the redwoods; the farmer may see in his cow-pasture what may not be vouchsafed to the scientist adventuring in the South Seas.




Leopold Aldo quotes
The erasure of a human subspecies is largely painless — to us — if we know little enough about it. A dead Chinaman is of little import to us whose awareness of things Chinese is bounded by an occasional dish of chow mein. We grieve only for what we know. The erasure of Silphium from western Dane County is no cause for grief if one knows it only as a name in a botany book.
Leopold Aldo
It is fortunate, perhaps, that no matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all of the salient facts about any one of them.
Aldo Leopold quotes
Your true modern is separated from the land by many middlemen, and by innumerable physical gadgets. He has no vital relation to it; to him it is the space between cities on which crops grow. Turn him loose for a day on the land, and if the spot does not happen to be a golf links or a ‘scenic’ area, he is bored stiff. If crops could be raised by hydroponics instead of farming, it would suit him very well. Synthetic substitutes for wood, leather, wool, and other natural land products suit him better than the originals. In short, land is something he has ‘outgrown.’
Aldo Leopold
Above all we should, in the century since Darwin, have come to know that man, while now captain of the adventuring ship, is hardly the sole object of its quest, and that his prior assumptions to this effect arose from the simple necessity of whistling in the dark.
These things, I say, should have come to us. I fear they have not come to many.
Leopold Aldo quotes
Six days shalt thou paddle and pack, but on the seventh thou shall wash thy socks.
Leopold
What conservation education must build is an ethical underpinning for land economics and a universal curiosity to understand the land mechanism. Conservation may then follow.
Leopold Aldo
Relegating grizzlies to Alaska is about like relegating happiness heaven; one may never get there.
Aldo Leopold
For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.




Aldo Leopold quotes
There are degrees and kinds of solitude. ... I know of no solitude so secure as one guarded by a spring flood; nor do the geese, who have seen more kinds and degrees of aloneness than I have.
Aldo Leopold
I personally believed, at least in 1914 when predator control began, that there could not be too much horned game, and that the extirpation of predators was a reasonable price to pay for better big game hunting. Some of us have learned since the tragic error of such a view, and acknowledged our mistake. One must judge from the present volume that the Fish and Wildlife Service does not see any mistake.
Leopold quotes
The only true development in American recreational resources is the development of the perceptive faculty in Americans. All of the other acts we grace by that name are, at best, attempts to retard or mask the process of dilution.
Leopold Aldo
An oak is no respecter of persons.
Leopold Aldo quotes
Barring love and war, few enterprises are undertaken with such abandon, or by such diverse individuals, or with so paradoxical a mixture of appetite and altruism, as that group of avocations known as outdoor recreation. It is, by common consent, a good thing for people to get back to nature. But wherein lies the goodness, and what can be done to encourage its pursuit?
Aldo Leopold
How would you like to have a thousand brilliantly colored cliff swallows keeping house in the eaves of your barn, and gobbling up insects over your farm at the rate of 100,000 per day? There are many Wisconsin farmsteads where such a swallow-show is a distinct possibility.
Aldo Leopold quotes
On a fair morning the mountain invited you to get down and roll in its new grass and flowers (your less inhibited horse did just this if you failed to keep a tight rein). Every living thing sang, chirped, and burgeoned. Massive pines and firs, storm-tossed these many months, soaked up the sun in towering dignity. Tassel-eared squirrels, poker-faced but exuding emotion with voice and tail, told you insistently what your already knew full well: that never had there been so rare a day, or so rich a solitude to spend it in.
Aldo Leopold
One hundred and twenty acres, according to the County Clerk, is the extent of my worldly domain. But the County Clerk is a sleepy fellow, who never looks at his record books before nine o’clock. What they would show at daybreak is the question here at issue. Books or no books, it is a fact, patent both to my dog and myself, that at daybreak I am the sole owner of all the acres I can walk over. It is not only boundaries that disappear, but also the thought of being bounded.
Leopold Aldo
What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and, by cautious experimentation, to prove how it works? What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?


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