Nature or Man

Aaron Brumfield
Jessica Berryman
Biology 1120
February 25, 2017
Aldo Leopold, a forester and conservationist in the 1900’s. He wrote on

“The Land Ethic” in one of his books.

He questioned, is it the governments job to control the conservation of

the land? By implementing laws and requirements of land owners forcing

them to conserve the land they use for their own economic gain. Or is it all

land owners need to conserve the integrity of their land regardless of laws

put forth by the government. Every land owner needs not to only think about

their own economical interests or the economic output their land can provide

for them. Every land owner should want to be ethical and think of their land

as a bigger part of their community. Helping protect and conserve our lands,

along with being the least impactful should be everyone’s priority. Having

land ethics should just become second nature to everyone.

Leopold also made points about the relationship between all living

things from the natural state the land was in. Removing things from the

natural ecosystem of a specific area can have adverse effects on how long

the land can sustain itself. If a land owner only thinks about economic output

from the land. Total output from the land will be less and less each year. The

land owner will then need to import nutrients and other things that natural

habitat would have provided. All living things that make that land their

habitat help in different ways to sustain it.

I believe that we should try and return the land we use better

than we found it. This means also protecting the land the best we can while
we’re using it. I believe in doing this from a young age. In my field of

construction, I know it is easier to clear a lot of all the trees and vegetation

before starting. If you take the time to design and build around what’s on the

land the best you can. You will be happier with the end result of having some

of the natural landscape left along with preserving part of the natural habitat

of the living things in that area.

I would look at creating communities for humans that live among the

natural habitat. Not clearing out forests just for farm land, instead do the

farming in the areas that already have open space. Don’t clear cut forests for

lumber needed, get trees that have fallen or cut selectively in areas that are

too dense. Recycle and reuse more items to help with the strain of what we

need to take from the land. Allow all the creatures of the land to stay, try to

impact their normal living/habitats as least as possible. At a minimum make

more land areas that are undisturbed in our community’s. Making them into

nature parks that we can enjoy in our own neighborhoods. Even if they are

just grassland or desert they can be enjoyed.

I feel that the vast majority of the population still only thinks of their

own economic interests. To worry about what is best for the environment

always comes second because the assumed cost of conservation and lack of

community education. They are not teaching enough to young students

about conserving the land. If we started teaching that we’re all obligated to
help conserve nature, we would see real changes in our environment. Big

companies would follow doing what majority population felt was ethically

right or they would see an impact to their profitability and would fail or be

forced to change their practices.

I would say that all humans need to consider the effects of what they

are doing and how it may affect other members of the community. We would

all need to work together sharing information and deciding what’s best for

the community as a whole. We can’t make decisions that will have too large

of a negative effect on other members of the community just because we

own the land at that specific time. Once we are no longer part of the

community others will be left with the choices we made. Hopefully the

changes that were made had as minimal impact on the natural environment

as we were capable at that time in history.

I do agree with what Leopold wrote. There is a fine line of being able to

allow everything to be in its natural state and our society evolving and

growing in population. We can preserve the biotic communities while living

amongst them and making changes. We need to figure out the resilience of

the habitat and living things in it. Humans are also a part of these habitats.

We also must be able to be sustained, food, water, shelter, ability to provide

for ourselves and others. I do not believe Leopold felt that everyone does not

deserve the right to these things. He was merely saying there is a right way

and wrong way of everyone in the community getting these things.
Preserving the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community should

be everyone’s goal.

I am motivated by both beauty and duty. I enjoy the beauty of our

natural areas. In Utah alone I have visited and spent time in many areas. I

am grateful that we still have a lot of areas that are beautiful in different

ways and for different reasons because we have left them in their natural

state. The duty of taking care of the land that we get to use for just a short

time while we’re on this earth also motivates me. I want all future

generations to be able to enjoy the land

and creatures we have enjoyed. The thought of making different things go

extinct because of a decision we made, or didn’t make, does not sit well with

me. If we have the understanding and ability to protect or preserve its place

in the community, we all need to strive to do that.

I do have an interest in non-human elements but it usually has

emanated from self-interest. I think of what life would be like if normal

abundant parts of nature we take for granted were only in books. I can’t even

imagine what life would be like if previous generations had done things to

make dogs go extinct and people did not get to enjoy having them as a part

of their family. All parts of the biotic community play a role in that

community and deserve our attention in preserving them. Being ethical

about the land weather its self-interest motivated or motivated in any other

way must be a priority to all humans to sustain our place in these habitats.
At first I felt this paper was just busy work and was dreading writing

this paper. I am now glad it was part of the class. By the end of the paper it

was easier to write about my feelings on the topic. It gave me the

opportunity to really think about the questions and how I felt about them. It

is something that is a concern of mine but, not thought about enough. It was

a reminder that I need to do more to preserve and protect the environment

and do my part. Reminding others and setting a good example is always a

great way of teaching others to all

play their part in our precious community. If everyone cared about nature

and the land more than self-interest along with doing what they can to

preserve it, our community would be in a better place than it currently is.

I would recommend the “The Land Ethic”. It should be read and

discussed more frequently. It would be a topic that could go a long way in

shaping the current and future generations thoughts and practices. I like the

part that Leopold talked about that not all land needs to provide economic

value to its owner. He believed we all have a duty to take care of the land.

When farmers were given the opportunity to make their own rules and

regulations they wanted to but, had yet to make a single rule or regulation.

This made me think of most people are slow to make changes even when

they know the consequences of their actions will not turn out good for them

or others. We need to be able to make changes in our society when it’s for

the better even if it’s the hard thing to do.