Thinking Like a Conservationist

Document Type



Environmental Analysis (Pomona)

Publication Date



communication, history, policy, environmental management, forest, forest management, forest resources, forestry, forestry research, forestry science, natural resources, natural resource management


Government agencies at federal, state, and local levels use conservation to signal their attempts to balance economic development with environmental protection; some go farther and define conservation as the preservation of social capital and the built environment. Has the word lost all meaning? In the 19th century, George Perkins Marsh witnessed the destruction of natural resources and proposed conservation as a remedy. For Gifford Pinchot, the power of conservation as an idea would sustain human prosperity for all time. Aldo Leopold called conservation “a state of harmony between men and land” and found the word's true meaning in its call to live accordingly.

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Copyright © 2002 Society of American Foresters

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