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Texas Land Ethics

From the dense forests of the Big Thicket to the limitless vistas of the Davis Mountains, Texas is a land of astonishing diversity and natural beauty. Yet it is also a land where commuters endure endless traffic jams in the major cities and where pollution and environmental degradation threaten the most essential elements of our common living space—the land, air, and water.

In this thoughtful, practical book, Pete Gunter and Max Oelschlaeger offer a new vision for living on the land, a ‘land ethic’ that respects the stability, integrity, and beauty of the “land community.” Avoiding harsh rhetoric that seeks only to place blame and foretell doom, they discuss how economic and environmental goals may be reconciled so that Texans can continue to enjoy a reasonable prosperity while living in a land free of pollutants and scars, where some wild lands still exist and animals range freely.

In presenting their land ethic, the authors draw on the ideas of Aldo Leopold, whose A Sand County Almanac persuasively urges human beings to respect the land—with all of its animal and plant inhabitants—that supports us. This is an ethic to take Texas into the twenty-first century, in which the wise choices we make now will create a stable and sustainable future.

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