- Historic Sites
Conservation Equals Survival
Wise men like Thomas Jefferson have always known how to live with the earth instead of against it. We need to develop a land ethic, with wise stewardship and a respect for the earth.
December 1969 | Volume 21, Issue 1
What that projected exhibit is trying to come at in its third section is precisely what Leopold, Udall, and all the forces of ecology and conservation have been working toward: the development of a land ethic, a respect for the earth and its healthy relationships, a wise stewardship instead of wasteful greed, a rationing of our resources and ourselves for the purpose of promoting a sane, healthy, and renewable living place.
It is very late. But if we are not at the brink of a Spenglerian decline, with the conquest of the moon the last mad achievement of a mad society, we could be on the brink of the greatest period of human history. And it could begin with the little individuals, the kind of people many would call cranks, who insist on organically grown vegetables and unsprayed fruits, who do not pick the wild flowers, who fight against needless dams and roads. For that is the sort of small personal action that a land ethic suggests. Widespread enough, it can keep men from moving mountains.