In a 1937 essay the noted forester and ecologist Aldo Leopold wrote that “The real substance of conservation lies not in the physical projects of government, but in the mental processes of citizens.”
Skeptical of what governmental agencies can do for true natural resource conservation, Leopold added: “The acreage bought for public parks or forests is not the thing; what matters is whether private landowners regard their forests and their landscapes as a public trust.”
I think most of our farmers and ranchers in Florida and elsewhere would agree with the general premise of his remarks. Government ownership of land is not the solution to conserving natural resources.
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