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A Durable Scale

A Durable Scale

(p.25) 2 A Durable Scale
Agrarianism and the Good Society
Eric T. Freyfogle
University Press of Kentucky

Aldo Leopold was the leading voice in the conservation community until his death in 1948. He first gained prominence in 1920, when he promoted the then-novel idea of protecting the remaining wild lands in the US. Given the rising economic pressures that were bringing in automobiles and new roads, Leopold saw an urgent need for legal protection to keep the lands wild. What is remarkable about Leopold is his keen understanding of the broad cultural and economic contexts of land use and conservation. He saw that scientific and technical fixes were not enough to address the problem of land degradation and that a change in human behavior was necessary. It was in the late 1930s when Leopold's idea of land health began to take shape and became a constant presence in his writings. He believed that a cultural transformation was necessary to restore land health, beginning with wilderness preservation.

Keywords:   conservation movement, land use, land degradation, land health, wilderness preservation, cultural transformation, biotic right

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