Why Should We Conserve Species and Wildlands?

  • G. Ledyard Stebbins


As worldwide movements for conservation gain momentum, middle- class America is in the forefront of activity. A small but rapidly growing minority of people having a variety of professional and recreational interests are united in making serious efforts to preserve vignettes of our native landscape as well as rare species of plants and animals that were all but unknown a century ago. Some of these have always been rare, whereas others were formerly common but have become rare because of human exploitation during the past century. The voluntary associations that we support, such as the Sierra Club, Appalachian Club, The Nature Conservancy, California Native Plant Society, and similar organizations in other regions of the world, are growing in membership at a phenomenal pace. This growth has, in the United States, sent reverberations to state capitols and to federal government organizations like the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service. It not only has helped to elect conservation-minded members of the U.S. Congress, but also has motivated national administrators to appoint government officials who are sensitive to problems of the environment. A milestone in this progress was the decision of a major nationwide news magazine, in its annual year-end issue, to bypass a newly elected U.S. president in order to focus its attention on the Earth, the “Planet of the Year,” and the serious, partly irreparable damage that it is suffering in the name of “progress.”


Dust Bowl Pink Flower Sierra Club Boggs Lake Conservation Ethic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. and Diane C. Fiedler 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Ledyard Stebbins

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