For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings / Edition 2

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<p>Aldo Leopold's classic work A Sand County Almanac is widely regarded as one of the most influential conservation books of all time. In it, Leopold sets forth an eloquent plea for the development of a "land ethic"-a belief that humans have a duty to interact with the soils, waters, plants, and animals that collectively comprise "the land" in ways that ensure their well-being and survival.<p>For the Health of the Land, a new collection of rare and previously unpublished essays by Leopold, builds on that vision of ethical land use and develops the concept of "land health" and the practical measures landowners can take to sustain it. The writings are vintage Leopold-clear, sensible, and provocative, sometimes humorous, often lyrical, and always inspiring. Joining them together are a wisdom and a passion that transcend the time and place of the author's life.<p>The book offers a series of forty short pieces, arranged in seasonal "almanac" form, along with longer essays, arranged chronologically, which show the development of Leopold's approach to managing private lands for conservation ends. The final essay is a never before published work, left in pencil draft at his death, which proposes the concept of land health as an organizing principle for conservation. Also featured is an introduction by noted Leopold scholars J. Baird Callicott and Eric T. Freyfogle that provides a brief biography of Leopold and places the essays in the context of his life and work, and an afterword by conservation biologist Stanley A. Temple that comments on Leopold's ideas from the perspective of modern wildlife management.<p>The book's conservation message and practical ideas are as relevant today as they were when first written over fifty years ago. For the Health of the Land represents a stunning new addition to the literary legacy of Aldo Leopold.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A salubrious broadside of environmental essays, full of dignity and plain-spoken ethics, and a good number seen here for the first time, from conservationist icon Leopold. It is dumbfounding to learn that many of the essays in this collection, with their tinder-dry wit, their humility, and their calls to individual responsibility, were never published during Leopold's lifetime, but then neither was his Sand County Almanac (1968). Particularly valuable is the overview they give of the evolution of his thinking, from his early espousal of the land-use sensibility of Gifford Pinchot to his later urgings to protect land health and biodiversity. All of the pieces suggest ways private landowners might go about conserving their land. Sometimes Leopold's tone is folksy, as in the article on starting his own hunting cooperative; other times it is practical, as in the little gems he wrote for the Wisconsin Agriculturalist and Farmer explaining how to fashion a grape tangle for overwintering quail or why "a thriving woodlot, full of birds, is thus a contribution to the community and a badge of social conduct." Leopold is passionate but never flighty, always shrewdly able to explain to those who judge the worthiness of an environmental act by its human consequences sound reasons why reflooding a marsh or unplugging a ditch would benefit the landholder. The concluding essays chronicle his attempts to undo the misleading information peddled by government agricultural extension services, with their greed complex, monoculturing, and regimentation. He is a fierce advocate of a healthy landscape, one full of variety, tenderly cared for, lived lightly upon, a responsibility of landowners whose curiosityshould encompass the whole biota. That would rekindle, indeed would comprise, the very "satisfactions of living." Readers may dicker over whether Leopold's agronomy needs updating, but his environmental vision is as timeless now as it was ahead of the curve when he wrote it down. (Illus., not seen)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559637633
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 243
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. I Conserving Rural Wildlife
Game Management: A New Field for Science 27
Helping Ourselves: Being the Adventures of a Farmer and a Sportsman Who Produced Their Own Shooting Ground 33
The Wisconsin River Marshes 40
Coon Valley: An Adventure in Cooperative Conservation 47
Farm Game Management in Silesia 54
Be Your Own Emperor 70
Pt. II A Landowner's Conservation Almanac
Winter Cover 84
Winter Food 86
Feed the Songbirds 88
Woodlot Wildlife 89
Stories in the Snow 91
Winter Care of Plantings 92
Do We Want a Woodsless Countryside? 94
The Farmer and the Rabbit 95
The Farmer and the Fox 97
Pines above the Snow 100
The Farm Pond 103
The Marsh 105
Evergreens for Cover 107
When the Geese Return 109
Bur Oak: Badge of Wisconsin 110
Bluebirds Welcome 112
Back from the Argentine 114
Sky Dance of Spring 116
Farmers and Ducks 118
Cliff Swallows to Order 119
Wildflower Corners 121
Windbreaks 123
The Farm Arboretum 124
Pheasant Planting 126
Pheasant Damage 128
Bird Houses 130
Wildlife and Water 132
Bobwhite 134
Fifth Column of the Fencerow 135
Roadside Prairies 137
Wild Foods 140
Feeding Stations 142
Look for Bird Bands 143
The Hawk and Owl Question 145
Feed Early 147
Farm Fur Crops 148
Farming in Color 151
Smartweed Sanctuaries 153
From Little Acorns 154
Woodlot Wildlife and Plant Disease 157
Pt. III Conservation and Land Health
The Farmer as a Conservationist 161
History of the Riley Game Cooperative, 1931-1939 175
Planning for Wildlife 193
Biotic Land-Use 198
What Is a Weed? 207
The Outlook for Farm Wildlife 213
The Land-Health Concept and Conservation 218
Afterword 227
Acknowledgments 239
Editors' Notes 241
About the Contributors 243
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