The wildlife refuge and the land community

Eric T. Freyfogle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The statutory duty of refuge managers to promote the "ecological integrity, diversity, and environmental health" of refuge lands provides a sound long-term goal for refuges themselves. But because this goal largely deems human change as undesirable, it is inappropriate and even dangerous to employ when assessing how well nearby lands are being used. For this reason and others, refuge managers need an alternative land-use vision when they talk about the ecological conditions of surrounding landscapes. What is needed, when talking about larger landscapes and about the ways well-managed refuges contribute to those landscapes, is a conservation goal that integrates human needs and aspirations into the natural landscape, something akin to the goal of land health that Aldo Leopold crafted in the 1940s and proposed to colleagues as an overarching aim for all conservation work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1040
Number of pages14
JournalNatural Resources Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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