A Sand County Almanac

Admired by an ever-growing number of readers and imitated by hundreds of writers, A Sand County Almanac serves as one of the cornerstones of modern conservation science, policy, and ethics. First published by Oxford University Press in 1949, it has become a conservation classic.

While Aldo Leopold was writing in the 1940s, he could not have imagined the far-reaching impact his book would have. It has been translated into 14 languages and more than two million copies have been printed.

The Writing of A Sand County Almanac

A Sand County Almanac book coverLong respected in his own fields of forestry and wildlife ecology, Leopold was a prolific writer for scientific journals and conservation magazines. However, in 1937, sometime after his 53rd birthday, he became focused on reaching the general public with his conservation message.

Working over a 12-year period, he wrote, re-wrote, and re-wrote again, essays that both informed readers of how the natural world worked and inspired them to take action to ensure the future health of the land and water that sustains all life.

Not only was this influential book late to develop in Leopold’s mind, it nearly wasn’t completed. Just a week after Oxford University Press agreed to publish his manuscript, titled “Great Possessions,” Leopold died of a heart attack while fighting a grass fire on his neighbor’s farm.

After Leopold’s death, his son Luna spearheaded a group of family members and colleagues who collaborated on the final editing of the book, reluctantly agreeing to one significant change: renaming the book from Leopold’s working title “Great Possessions” to A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There.

“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.” — Aldo Leopold

Through science, history, humor, and prose, Leopold uses A Sand County Almanac and its call for a land ethic to communicate the true connection between people and the natural world. The hope: that readers will begin to treat the land with the love and respect it deserves.


A Sand County Almanac has been translated into 14 languages. Unfortunately, many of the translations are now out of print, but you may be able to find used copies if you search a bit.

  • Czech (1995). Obrázky z Chatrče, Abies. Out of print.
  • Chinese (2010). New World Press. Available in our store.
  • Chinese (1996). Science Press. Out of print.
  • Chinese. Commonwealth Publishing. Out of print.
  • Finnish (2017). Sand Countyn Almanakka Ja Luonnoksia Sieltä Täältä, Tapani Kilpeläinen. Available online here.
  • French (2000). Almanach d’un compté des sables, Flammarion. Out of print.
  • German (1992). Am Anfang war die Erde, Knesebeck. Out of print.
  • Italian (1997). Almanaco di un mondo semplice, Red Edizioni. Out of print.
  • Japanese (1986). Yaseino Uta ga Kikoeru, Shinrin Shobo, Ltd. Out of print.
  • Korean Earth Love Publications. Out of print.
  • Latvian (1989).  Smilšu grāfistes kalendārs. Out of print.
  • Polish (2004). Zapiski z Piaszczystej Krainy, Pracownia. Out of print.
  • Portuguese (2008). Pensar como uma Montanha, Edições Sempre-em-Pé. May be available from online retailers.
  • Portuguese – Brazil only (2019). Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  • Russian (1980). КАЛЕНДАРЬ ПЕСЧАНОГО ГРАФСТВА, Издательство Мир. Out of print.
  • Spanish (1996, Mexico). Equilibrio Ecológico: Almanaque de un condado arenoso, Ediciones Gernika. Out of print.
  • Spanish (2019) Un Año en Sand County, Errata Naturae. Available online here.
  • Turkish (2013). Bir Kum Yöresi Alamanği, Hacettepe Üniversitesi Yayinlari. Available in our store.

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