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.
Scott Russell Sanders is Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University. His other books include Writing from the Center (1995), Terrarium (1996), and (with Will Counts and James H. Madison) Bloomington Past and Present (2002), all published by IU Press, as well as Hunting for Hope: A Father's Journeys (1999) and The Force of Spirit (2000). He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.