Chapter I

Life and Legacy of Gifford Pinchot:

“For the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run”


A  The Natural World

1.  Consistent Issues: Sustainability and the Practical use of natural resources

-Practical conservation

-“Application to common sense to common problems for the common good”

B  As It Was:  Historical Context of Conservation

1629 – First land regulation in America

1687 – PA William Penn 1 acre preserved for every one cleared

Regulating or managed project 1840s

– Hunting and fishing become a sport

1850s – NY Game Protection Association

Established users and uses, controversial

C The Gilded Age                      

1.  James and Mary Pinchot (retired)   “Cut and Run”

2.  Inspiration and Thoughtfulness          “Concept of Enough”

-Simsbury, CT, Grey Towers


-Hudson River School of Artists           ASTHETIC – PRACTICAL

-Gifford named after Sanford Gifford 8-11-1865

-“Life of the Mind”

3.  Attitudes – turn of the century:

–Dynamic outlook, optimism, confidence, industrial growth, inventions, technology, transportation, communication – SF earthquake, Immigration, Titanic disaster, Wright Brothers, science,  land rush, etc

4.  Land Use

–Government giveaways of land to mining, RR, Hardwood forests,
-Timber and Stone Act of 1878:  $2.50/acre to RR companies

–No policing of lands: Massive theft

— Overgrazing


Terms to Know or Revisit:

Spoils System               Survival of the Fittest              Social Darwinism                      Exploitation

George Caitlin             Hudson River School                Henry David Thoreau             Ralph Waldo Emerson

Social Gospel                Manifest Destiny                     Individualism                            Initiative

Laissez-faire                 Machine politics                      Timber and Stone Act of 1878

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