A Salute to Aldo Leopold!

Posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011 by »

Come Join us for a free showing of Green Fire!

What: Green Fire, a film about the life, work and legacy of conservationist Aldo Leopold

Where: Panida Theater, Sandpoint, Idaho

When: August 31 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30)

Who: Presented by US Forest Service and Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

How Much: Free admission

Let’s salute Aldo Leopold, a visionary conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, author, and outdoor enthusiast!

I first encountered Leopold 20 years ago when I read A Sand County Almanac, a compelling book about environmental degradation, conservation values and land ethics. Leopold’s writing leaps off the page with a strong sense of place and personal involvement. I was half way through the book before realizing it was written in the 1940s.  It is still as fresh and forward thinking even today.

Leopold, considered by many to have been the most influential voice for conservation during the 20th century, define the emerging concepts of ecological thinking and land ethics.  In 1948, Aldo Leopold wrote in A Sand County Almanac: “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.”

In 1909 Leopold was one of the first to graduate from the Yale University Forestry program and promptly went to work for the US Forest Service in the Southwest.  He brought a knowledge of sound science and applied it to public land management.  He also continued to observe, learn and develop concepts about how the natural world is a web of communities in which prey and predator are integral to the overall health of the environment.

At the age of 24 he was promoted to Carson National Forest Supervisor in New Mexico.  He was instrumental in developing a proposal to manage 500,000acres of the Gila National Forest as a wilderness area. The forest service responded in 1924 by administratively declaring this wild jumble of desert, canyons and mountains as the nation’s first Wilderness area.

Moving to Wisconsin in 1924 to take a research position with the Forest Service, Leopold continued his investigations into ecology and conservation.  Leopold, considered the father of Wildlife Management, became the country’s first professor of “Game Management” in the 1933 at the University of Wisconsin, literally writing the first textbook on managing game: “Game Management”.

Not content with administrative declaration of Wilderness, Leopold along with 7 others founded the Wilderness Society in 1935 and began the long march towards passage of the Wilderness Act. We owe a debt of gratitude to Aldo Leopold whose vision and accomplishments created a legacy and whose work continues to guide and inspire.

The Aldo Leopold Institute, the Center for Humans and Nature and the US Forest Service have recently produced a stunning film, Green Fire, documenting the life and work of Aldo Leopold. On Wed August 31st, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness and the US Forest Service will c0-host a free showing of Green Fire at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint. Doors open at 6:30pm, Film at 7:30pm.  We hope you can join us!

About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

An avid long distance hiker, Phil's experience on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trails brought a passion for wild places and motivated him to work towards protecting the one of the last and largest wild places in northern Idaho and Western Montana, the Scotchman Peaks.

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