“A peculiar virtue of wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”
125 years ago today an American original was born.
The central thesis of game management is this: game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it --axe, plow, cow, fire, and gun. A favorable alignment of these forces sometimes came about in pioneer days by accident. The result was a temporary wealth of game far greater than the red man ever saw. Management is their purposeful and continuing alignment.At the time Aldo wrote those words most of the large mammals of North America existed in a precarious state or in very small numbers. We had larger tracts of undeveloped lands, we just had few animals on them.
The conservation movement has sought to restore wild life by the control of guns alone, with little visible success. Management seeks the same end but by more versatile means.
Madison Wisconsin 1932
Aldo Leopold in a series of lectures in the early to mid 1930s helped establish the Wildlife Society and the Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman Robertson) which allowed hunters to fund and encourage the restoration and nurture of the wildlife we now enjoy in all 50 states.