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(April/May 2013) Losing Solitude: Who Are We? …by Martin Murie


When Aldo Leopold saw fierce green fire in the eyes of the dying wolf his life was changing; years of living in wolf country were driving those moments, years of paying attention, taking the measure of mountains.

“I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes — something known only to her (the wolf) and to the mountain.” (1) Leopold goes on to “suspect” that a mountain fears its deer, just as deer fear wolves. This metaphor, wonderfully outrageous, using fear as the organiser, is then spelled out:

“The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain.” Thoughts like these culminate in his famous rule:

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

Click the image below to read the rest of Martin’s article:



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