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Conservation Ethics

Woody Hibbard

My boyhood in Louisiana was immersed in a culture where conservation ethic did not exist in the general populace.

The notion was that wildlife was there for the taking, not unlike blackberries or mayhaws in the swamp. As a carryover of attitude about natural resources since Europeans arrived in North America, it was a lingering remnant of 19th century arrogance defined as Manifest Destiny.

State of affairs was exacerbated by the legal system hobbled with weak statutes and one that did not take violations of natural resource laws, including fish and wildlife regulations, seriously anyway. Even on the national scene there were few champions.

Disciples of the great conservationist Aldo Leopold and a handful of like-minded associates were the only people touting the necessity of conservation ethic. Most of us just did not think.

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