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Human Ethic / Land Ethic: The Aldo Leopold Foundation Responds to the Shootings in South Carolina

How can we have a land ethic when such violence against humanity continues?

I’m unsure and confused about what to say in response to the shootings in South Carolina, but mostly, I feel shocked. And everyone, everywhere, should be shocked. Shocked that in 2015 hate can compel someone to kill another human being – take 9 lives – because of the color of their skin.

Foreign though this level of hate may be to us individually, none of us can allow it to cloud the fact that racism exists and continues to manifest itself in ways that are difficult and uncomfortable to comprehend let alone address.

Leopold’s passage “There are two things that interest me. The relation of people to each other and the relation of people to land,” written in Germany on the back of hotel stationary in 1935 is a good reminder to all of us. For those of us who work in or care about conservation, we must recognize that the work of revealing and confronting injustice and inequities in our society is just as critical as understanding the threats to ecological systems if we ever intend to realize a land ethic.

Buddy Huffaker,
President and Executive Director