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Aldo Leopold

Forester - Philosopher - Educator

Leopold's Preserve is named after Aldo Leopold, a giant among 20th century conservationists and the father of wildlife ecology. His ideas about the relationship between humans and land continually inspire us.

Aldo Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa, on January 11, 1887. As a boy he developed a lively interest in field omithology and natural history, and after schooling in Burlington, at Lawrenceville Prep in New Jersey, and the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, he enrolled in the Yale forestry school, the first graduate school of forestry in the United States. Graduating with a masters in 1909, he joined the U.S. Forest Service, by 1912 was supervisor of the million-acre Carson National Forest, and in 1924 accepted the position of Associate Director of the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, the principal research institution of the Forest Service at that time. In 1933 he was appointed to the newly created chair in Game Management at the University of Wisconsin, a position he held until his death.


Leopold was throughout his life at the forefront of the conservation movement. Indeed, he is widely acknowledged as the father of wildlife conservation in America. Though perhaps best known for A Sand County Almanac, he was also an internationally respected scientist, authored the classic text Game Management, which is still in use today, wrote more than 350 articles, most on scientific and policy matters, and was an advisor on conservation to the United Nations. He died of a heart attack on April 21, 1948 while helping his neighbors fight a grass fire. He has subsequently been named to the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Hall of Fame, and in 1978, the John Burroughs Memorial Association awarded him the John Burroughs Medal for his lifework and, in particular, for A Sand County Almanac. 

A black and white photo of Aldo Leopold holding a pine tree.
Aldo Leopold Foundation logo

"Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel."  - Aldo Leopold

A promotional image for the Green Fire documentary.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time

​This award-winning, full-length documentary explores Leopold’s extraordinary career and his enduring influence – tracing how he shaped the modern conservation movement and continues to inspire projects all over the country that connect people and the land. Click here to watch for free!

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