Leopold’s wolves and trees

The movie Green Fire was screened in the
Humanities building, sponsored by Schmidt Library.  The film was based on Aldo Leopold life as a revolutionary conservationist.  His achievements as a child to adult were exceptional.

Leopold was born in 1887, graduated from Yale and at the age of 22 he became a forest inspector.  He and his wife Estella had five children, all who took careers in science and land preservation.

Leopold was very concerned about the development of the Midwest.  As the land was destroyed by poor grazing methods, over planting of crops and general ignorance, Leopold realized that “man kills the things he loves.”

At one point in his life, Leopold believed killing all the predators would allow plentiful game for hunting.  As species of animals began to disappear he realized his error and focused to preserving the animals that were almost to extinction.  He was especially concerned about the wolf population.  The elk population was out of control and there were only 7 wolves left in the wild.  A wolf recovery program was established to rebuild their community.

What is interesting about this is 100 years ago, Leopold shot a female wolf and while she died he saw a “fierce green fire” that faded from her eyes in death.  About 35 years later, it was Leopold who starts the campaign to repopulate the wolves.
In 1934, the Wildlife Reservation was created in Wisconsin to re-establish animal and plant species of the brink of extinction.  In 1949 “The Land Ethic” was published.  This book is thought of as the Bible of the environment.  Leopold was and still is far ahead of mankind in understanding and acting on the preservation of nature.

It is the responsibility of private land owners to properly care for their land.  The government agrees with Leopold as there
are now laws protecting all land, private and public.  In the 21st century, the
importance of protecting the earth and atmosphere is stressed daily.  This is because of the actions and writing of
a man who “thinks like a mountain” and was intelligent enough to teach how to
care for the land we live on.

There was
a brief discussion following the movie concerning the biotic community as a
whole and what role the human population has in keeping it healthy.  Also discussed was Leopold’s involvement with Gifford Pinchot.  Gifford Pinchot is honored at Pinchot Park, located in Lewisberry, PA.  Pinchot was also credited in the conservation movement.

The movie presented a beautiful view of unspoiled wilderness, especially in the
Midwest and New Mexico.  Green Fire is an inspirational film that will continue to educate and inspire people world-wide in the importance of caring for the Earth.  This movie should be shown to students in middle-school and on. The importance of conservation will eventually fall into the hands of this younger generation.

I recycle,


P.S. The student I sat beside during the movie kept picking his nose, his lips, his face.  He stank too.  😦

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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