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Leopold, Aldo / Writings: Round River ; Almanac 1966 ed., Proofs

Mock-up for 1966 edition,   pp. [24]-[156] PDF (273.4 MB)


Page [67]

168 RR 
One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives 
alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is 
quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell 
and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his 
business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a 
community that believes itself well and does not want to be told 
otherwise. 
The government tells us we need flood control and comes to 
straighten the creek in our pasture. The engineer on the job tells us 
the creek is now able to carry off more flood water, but in the process 
we lost our old willowsvwhexthe cows switched flies in the noon shadt,) 
--a a  re the ol hooted on a winter nih      We lost the little marshy 
spot where our fringed gentians bloomed. 
Hydrologists have demonstrated that the meanderings of a creek are 
a necessary part of the hydrologic functioning. The flood plain belongs 
to the river. The ecologist sees clearly that for similar reasons we 
can get along ith less channel improvement on Round River. 
168 R 


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