Bringing Aldo Leopold's Vision to Life
The work of the Landsward Institute is built on the ethical foundations set forth by Aldo Leopold, a visionary scientist and conservationist who lived in the first half of the twentieth century. His work was instrumental in the movement towards wilderness preservation. As a founding member of The Wilderness Society in 1935, Leopold was a key figure in the establishment of the Gila National Forest as the first federally designated wilderness area.
Leopold criticized the disintegrated relationship between humanity and the greater ecosystem. He attributed environmental degradation to society’s perception of the natural world as a resource to be used instead of a biotic community of which humans are a part. This idea is most famously articulated in Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, published posthumously in 1949. A combination of natural history, philosophy, and environmental ethics, the book has become part of the canon of the environmental movement.
“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, A Sand County Almanac, 1949
His land ethic reflects the existence of an ecological conscience focusing on individual and collective responsibility for participating in the health of the land. The Landsward Institute upholds Leopold’s vision of an ecological conscience by taking an instrumental role in the development of an environmental ethic in the public and private policies of the Colorado Plateau.
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 5845
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5845
Applied Research and Development Bld., #56
Phone (928) 523-0716
Fax (928) 523-0717
Karan English, Director
Phone: (928) 523-0670