Hall of Fame inductees are the pioneers, explorers and artists in America's river history. They were movers and shakers from the days gone by and the recent past. These men and women made significant contributions related to America’s rivers, which is why we honor them.
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Inducted in 2017
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He grew up in Burlington, Iowa, along the Mississippi River and was a professor at the University of Wisconsin. He is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949) which sold more than two million copies. In that classic, he wrote: We have “not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.”
Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. He wrote, “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively the land.” He also wrote, “Land health is the capacity for self-renewal in the soils, waters, plants, and animals that collectively comprise the land.” His ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement. He emphasized biodiversity and ecology and is considered the founder of the science of wildlife management.