Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

For Earth Day, the enduring message of a nature writer

By
From page A6 | April 21, 2013 |

By Vick Mickunas

Earth Day is Monday. Mother Earth has endured a lot over the millennia. The adverse impact that our civilization is having upon the planet in the form of accelerating climate change is becoming more clear with each passing year. Ancient glaciers are receding. The ice caps diminish. Ocean levels are rising along with average temperatures.

We live here. Should we be feeling concerned?

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was a keen observer of nature. During the first half of the 20th century Leopold was one of our first outspoken environmentalists. His essay collection “A Sand County Almanac” was published after his death. It has sold over 2 million copies. His prescient essays were expressions of his philosophy and environmental ethics.

The Library of America just published a “A Sand County Almanac and Other Writings.” This volume has his enduring classic along with a collection of more than 50 additional essays, lectures, and articles written by Leopold.

Edited by Curt Meine, the book also contains Leopold’s field journals and nearly 100 pieces of the author’s correspondence. There are also over 100 of Leopold’s maps, photos, and drawings. Much of this additional material has never been published.

This book is a mother lode of inspiring and edifying material.

Leopold’s first lines in his forward to “A Sand County Almanac” give us an early indication as to which way the wind will be blowing. He writes: “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.”

His meditations and reflections upon what he sees and senses in the natural world can be whimsical and often magical. His observations can lead us to ponder our own places in this world. Here’s one typical expression of his thoughts: “The wild things that live on my farm are reluctant to tell me, in so many words, how much of my township is included within their daily or nightly beat. I am curious about this, for it gives me the ratio between the size of their universe and the size of mine, and it conveniently begs the much more important question, who is the more thoroughly acquainted with the world in which he lives?”

Leopold was an early proponent of preserving large areas of untouched wilderness. He did some deep thinking on the subject of access to outdoor recreation. In his essay “Conservation Ethic” he observes that “recreational development is a job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.”

The author was emphatic in his beliefs. In June 1947 he closed a piece that he had written for the Garden Club of America with these words:

“Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays. That philosophy is dead in human relations, and its funeral in land-relations is overdue.”

The chronology of Aldo Leopold’s life ends one week after his manuscript for “A Sand County Almanac” is accepted. On April 21, 1948, he “succumbs to a heart attack and dies while helping to fight an escaped grass fire on a neighbor’s farm. …” Leopold’s message remains enduring and potent today.

Comments

comments

.

News

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
City offers wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

 
Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

.

Sports

The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8