Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-4 : Species and Subjects

				
JOURNAL OF FORESTRY 
 
of unecologic forestry,-of single-track 
silviculture. The present strong trend to- 
ward mixed stands will eventually relieve 
this situation, but has not yet done so. 
We have here simply one more instance 
of the crying need for naturalism in con- 
servation,-one more proof that the for- 
ester with a single eye for sawlogs, or the 
game manager with a single eye for fur 
or feathers, is an anachronism. In the 
long run we 5hall learn that there is no 
such thing as forestry, no such thing as 
game management. The only reality is 
an intelligent respect for, and adjustment 
to, the inherent tendency of land to pro- 
duce life. 
German predator policy, as described 
by Shepard, is refreshingly naturalistic. 
Martens, otters, and eagles, long since ex- 
tinct in all but our "backwoods" states, 
are not only suffered to exist, but are 
managed like the deer. Foxes, despite 
their depredations, are cropped in proper 
density for fur. A    vigilant bird-lover 
group insists on the rational protection 
of raptors, and the sportsmen, either out 
of intelligence or necessity, acquiesce. The 
culling function of predators seems to be 
universally recognized as a biotic neces- 
sity. Will this happy day come to Amer- 
ica before, or after, our magnificent pred- 
ators are gone? 
German game yields, as sketched by 
Shepard, are higher in private and com- 
munal districts than in state forests. This 
reflects the fact, so hard for American 
conservationists to learn, that high al- 
titudes and poor soils yield light crops, 
whether of corn, deer, or sawlogs. (Those 
who habitually relegate wild life to land 
 
good for nothing else should, but will 
not, ponder this lesson.) The private and 
communal districts of Bavaria yield one 
mammal per 36 acres and one bird per 
62 acres per year, whereas the Bavarian 
state forests yield only one mammal per 
100 acres, and one bird per 400 acres. 
The highest aggregate kill, as compared 
with our forest states, arises not from 
high density, but from the absence of 
blank areas, and from the high kill-ratio 
per unit of population. That is to say, 
Bavaria gets a game crop because all 
the land is working and all the breeding 
stock is productive. 
Of great import to us is the evident 
fact that German game biology is em- 
pirical, not scientific. Game managers 
receive only routine training as foresters. 
An effective and vital system of conserva- 
tion has been built, not upon a found- 
ation of research, but upon a foundation 
of experience. That system is of neces- 
sity encrusted with the political and eco- 
nomic barnacles of feudalism, but it de- 
livers results, despite the handicap of a 
man :land ratio vastly less favorable than 
ours. Is it a rosy dream to envisage the 
ultimate emergence of an American sys- 
tem, founded upon ecological science, un- 
encumbered by too much history, utiliz- 
ing to the utmost our basic advantage of 
elbow-room, and so integrated with our 
sociology and economics as to perpetuate 
indefinitely the opportunity for contact 
with natural beauty? It seems to me not 
a dream, but a challenge. 
ALDO LEOPOLD, 
University of Wisconsin. 
 
 

					
				
					
Antlers 
Extract from Biennial Report, Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, 1935-36,
p. 57: 
ANTLER CLASSIFICATION: 
1934              1935 
Two points to one antler ................. 4,3g4 - 21%.; ...... 6,176 - 26-

Three points to one antler .............. 5,1S3 - 24 ........ 5,730 - 2 %

Four points to one antler ................ 7,021- 33% ......7,457 - 31% 
Five or more points to one antler ........ 4,549 - 22% ....... 4,,39 - 19%