Community Learning Event, May 3-5, 2015

On Our Use of the Land

In 1940s, a leader in forestry and land management named Aldo Leopold began to formulate a new land ethic. He articulate the land ethic in the final chapter of A Sand County Almanac published in 1949. “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land,” he wrote. Leoppold defined a new relationship between people and nature and set the stage for the modern conservation movement.

Central to Leopold’s philosophy is the assertion to “quit thinking about decent land use as solely an economic problem.” While recognizing the influence economics have on decisions, Leopold understood that ultimately, our economic well being could not be separated from the well being of our environment. Therefore, he believed it was critical that people have a close personal connection to the land. (

Carolyn Vogel grew up on a ranch in Gillespie County, Texas and she has spent her life seeking to live out Leopold’s Land Ethic—and to be a leader in the movement. She is a nationally renowned conservationist who had a 31-year career with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and spearheaded the development of the Texas Land Trust Program and the Texas Land Trust Council. After her retirement from TPWD, Carolyn instituted her long-time expertise in organizational development and land and water conservation through two new businesses: Vogel Conservation Consulting and Texas Conservation Connection, LLC.