Cover image for For the health of the land : previously unpublished essays and other writings
For the health of the land : previously unpublished essays and other writings
Leopold, Aldo, 1886-1948.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Island Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xix, 243 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
General Note:
"Shearwater books."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH75 .L38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A collection of previously unavailable essays by environmentalist Aldo Leopold, building on the tradition of ethical land use and developing the concept of land health and the practical measures landowners can take to sustain it. Containing over 40 short pieces arranged in a seasonal almanac form along with longer essays arranged chronologically, each piece is introduced and set in context by the editors.

Author Notes

Aldo Leopold, who has become the most esteemed ecologist of this century, is best remembered for his articulation of the "land ethic," which demonstrates a respect and reverence for all life. His landmark book A Sand County Almanac, published in 1949, is considered by many to be the most significant book published on nature and the environment.

Born in Burlington, Iowa, Leopold attended the Yale Graduate School of Forestry (newly established in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot) and graduated in 1909. He immediately began his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a forest assistant in Arizona and later became supervisor of Carson National Forest in New Mexico in 1912. During his stint in the Southwest, he encouraged interest in establishing the Gila Wilderness Area in southwest New Mexico, the first in the national forest wilderness system. He later moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to help direct the Forest Products Laboratory from 1925 to 1927. He worked for a while as a game consultant and completed his book Game Management in 1933. Soon thereafter, he became professor of game management at the University of Wisconsin and held that position until his death in 1948. Leopold was one of the founders of The Wilderness Society in 1935 and an organizer of The Wildlife Society in 1937, which later created the Aldo Leopold Award, which has been awarded annually since 1950 for significant achievements in wildlife biology and conservation. The Leopold Memorial Reserve, a private 1,400-acre tract near Baraboo, Wisconsin, is dedicated to his memory. The landmark of the reserve is the Shack, Leopold's country retreat in one of central Wisconsin's "sand counties," a place which he describes so vividly in his journals.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Scott Russell SandersJ. Baird Callicott and Eric T. FreyfogleStanley A. Temple
Forewordp. xiii
Introductionp. 3
Part I Conserving Rural Wildlife
Game Management: A New Field for Sciencep. 27
Helping Ourselves: Being the Adventures of a Farmer and a Sportsman Who Produced Their Own Shooting Groundp. 33
The Wisconsin River Marshesp. 40
Coon Valley: An Adventure in Cooperative Conservationp. 47
Farm Game Management in Silesiap. 54
Be Your Own Emperorp. 70
Part II A Landowner's Conservation Almanac
Winter Coverp. 84
Winter Foodp. 86
Feed the Songbirdsp. 88
Woodlot Wildlifep. 89
Stories in the Snowp. 91
Winter Care of Plantingsp. 92
Do We Want a Woodsless Countryside?p. 94
The Farmer and the Rabbitp. 95
The Farmer and the Foxp. 97
Pines above the Snowp. 100
The Farm Pondp. 103
The Marshp. 105
Evergreens for Coverp. 107
When the Geese Returnp. 109
Bur Oak: Badge of Wisconsinp. 110
Bluebirds Welcomep. 112
Back from the Argentinep. 114
Sky Dance of Springp. 116
Farmers and Ducksp. 118
Cliff Swallows to Orderp. 119
Wildflower Cornersp. 121
Windbreaksp. 123
The Farm Arboretump. 124
Pheasant Plantingp. 126
Pheasant Damagep. 128
Bird Housesp. 130
Wildlife and Waterp. 132
Bobwhitep. 134
Fifth Column of the Fencerowp. 135
Roadside Prairiesp. 137
Wild Foodsp. 140
Feeding Stationsp. 142
Look for Bird Bandsp. 143
The Hawk and Owl Questionp. 145
Feed Earlyp. 147
Farm Fur Cropsp. 148
Farming in Colorp. 151
Smartweed Sanctuariesp. 153
From Little Acornsp. 154
Woodlot Wildlife and Plant Diseasep. 157
Part III Conservation and Land Health
The Farmer as a Conservationistp. 161
History of the Riley Game Cooperative, 1931-1939p. 175
Planning for Wildlifep. 193
Biotic Land-Usep. 198
What Is a Weed?p. 207
The Outlook for Farm Wildlifep. 213
The Land-Health Concept and Conservationp. 218
Afterwordp. 227
Acknowledgmentsp. 239
Editors' Notesp. 241
About the Contributorsp. 243