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.
Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac,1949
Hunting has been a core conservation management tool in the United States since its founding. Indeed, "perceptive hunters" believe hunting should contribute to conservation rather than hinder it. As conservation science has improved, so have calls for understanding the role of game species in ecosystems, as well as in regional politics and economics. Deer, pheasant and elk are cultural icons because of their value to hunters, and are also a source of persistent controversy because of their role in complex ecological and economic systems.
Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, accepted a chair in game management at
the University of Wisconsin and published a textbook in 1933 marking the
emergence of wildlife conservation as a professional discipline. The scientific
and ethical foundations laid down by Leopold fostered the emergence of a unique
model for wildlife conservation in North America.
This course will provide students with an understanding of the historical legacy of wildlife management and recreational
hunting as a part of conservation, the role of wildlife in ecosystems, the
importance of ethics in guiding management decisions and hunter choices, and
the politics and economics of controversies surrounding game and non-game
management, hunting, and conservation. We will also look at the emerging face of hunting today, and contemporary models of conservation. The content draws on the expertise and
experience of scholars, researchers, managers, and citizens in the overlapping
spheres of applied ecology, policy, environmental and natural resource
Janet Silbernagel, Paul Robbins and Tim Van Deelen