Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Aldo Leopold shack in Wisconsin gets Historic Landmark status

Baraboo, Wis. (AP) — The humble shack that became the
centerpiece of conservationist Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac
has been granted National Historic Landmark status.

The converted chicken coop and the farm on which it stands
received the designation from outgoing Interior Secretary Dirk
Kempthorne. He announced the designation of nine new historic
landmarks just days before he and the rest of the Bush
administration left office Tuesday.

Leopold died in 1948 at the age of 61, just before A Sand County
Almanac was published.

The collection of essays detailed his observations of nature
through changing seasons and also called for a new land ethic to
guide humans in the way they deal with the natural world.

The shack is maintained in his memory by the Aldo Leopold
Foundation, founded by his children in 1982 to carry on his

Leopold’s daughter, 91-year-old Nina Leopold Bradley, remembers
arriving at the shack when it was a weekend getaway spot for the
family. They would go there with just a suitcase filled with
clothes and a toothbrush.

“The shack was sort of an example of how you didn’t need a
palace and all these things surrounding you,” she said. “The
general effect was (showing) that you can be very, very happy with
very little stuff around you.”

She can recall summer nights in the 1930s and 1940s sitting
around a campfire with her father, mother and four siblings,
singing songs and strumming a guitar.

Days were spent planting trees and restoring prairie.

“He didn’t tell us this, but he was trying to restore this
acreage to what it looked like before white men,” Leopold Bradley

Buddy Huffaker, executive director of the Leopold foundation,
said he hopes the National Historic Landmark declaration will
increase awareness of the call for “human responsibility toward the

The Leopold site joins 2,500 other places nationwide and 39
others in Wisconsin on the National Historic Landmark list.

Leopold, considered the father of the modern-day science of
ecology, was with the U.S. Forest Service before being appointed a
professor of wildlife management at the University of Wisconsin in
Madison, where he taught until his death. His career included
advising the state’s old conservation department.

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