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Outdoors: Aldo Leopold


When this radio station was in its infancy, it aired a program called, if memory serves, "Eco-logue."

Jack Hood, who then was the ecology teacher at Interlochen Arts Academy, presented this folksy nature program.

I met Mr. Hood back when I was a counselor at the camp, and due to his influence, I was seriously contemplating going into environmental education.

To test my resolve, Mr. Hood arranged for me to help chaperone the academy ecology students on their winter camping trip.

Before the group departed for the frigid wilds of the Pigeon River Country, Mr. Hood handed me a copy of a small book of essays by Aldo Leopold called "A Sand County Almanac." 

So in addition to learning winter survival skills, I was introduced to the concept of a "land ethic."

Jack Hood and Aldo Leopold changed my life.

In many parts of the country, environmental organizations celebrate the first Saturday in March as Aldo Leopold Day. Like many, I will reread "A Sand County Almanac," rededicate myself to the land ethic and ponder his words:

"Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."