Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Soil Science

pp 168-170


  • Ward Chesworth
  • , David Lavigne
There are essentially two traditions in conservation: the arcadian (or romantic) tradition of the Reverend Gilbert White that eventually gave rise in the United States to the Protectionist School of Conservation, most often identified with John Muir (Figure C62, above the time line); and the utilitarian tradition of Frances Bacon (Worster, 1994; and Figure C62, below the time line). Bacon's anthropocentric and imperialistic view of nature (which can be traced back to Genesis 1:26) is a lineal ancestor of the “Agricultural revolution” of the 18th century, which eventually gave rise to the utilitarian school of conservation represented in our own time by the U.S. Bureau of Land Reclamation and of Soil Conservation in particular (Figure C62).
Figure C62

The arcadian (above) and utilitarian (below) traditions in conservation. Note that Aldo Leopold published seminal texts in both schools. From Lavigne (2006 p. 4), where additional references will be found.

Gifford Pinchot, America's first ...

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