The Land Ethic

Aldo Leopold, in his book A Sand County Almanac described the Land Ethic: “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

The Land Ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals – or collectively, The Land.

aldo leopold | A sand county almanac

Leopold also gave us a moral compass when he said, “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.”

GeoffMaclay_WoodsThe Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation continues to bring this land ethic to our community for the health of the land and water by promoting land use that respects a functioning ecosystem in our watersheds. Land health is the capacity for land to renew itself and us in spirit. Perhaps the best indicator of land health is the presence of a diverse mix of native plants and animals. The native wildlife is the highest manifestation of healthy land. If all the parts of the biota are present, and we buffer the lakes from manmade runoff, we have clean, clear water in our lakes. When you see a bald eagle soaring over Cedar Lake, you are seeing that health incarnate.

This landscape and the wildlife define our sense of place. That spirit continues on in protected land. The integrity of natural ecosystems requires adequate space for evolutionary processes to continue. Biodiversity thrives in larger landscapes where all the pieces have the ability to forage, find mates from broader genes pools, and range and repopulate areas that are restored. Conservation is humanity caring for the future of all life on the blue planet.