Aldo Leopold and the Huron Mountain Club
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) is best known as the author of A Sand County Almanac and as one of the founders of the Wilderness Society. He was part of the first generation of professionally trained foresters to apply the new science of ecology to forestry, and he became an eloquent advocate for conservation of America's wildlands. In 1938 the Huron Mountain Club asked him to develop a plan to manage their 15,000-acre holdings in upper Michigan, one of the last uncut stands of forest in the upper Midwest. His plan, which the Club adopted, reflected his mature thinking about how to balance human use of forests with their preservation. If Leopold's ideas had been more widely applied in America during the economic expansion that took place after World War II, it is safe to say that many of the controversies regarding endangered species and forest harvesting would have been avoided. We spoke with Curt Meine about the development of Leopold's ideas and their relevance to our present difficulties.