Land Ethics

Topics: Natural resource, Natural environment, Biodiversity Pages: 1 (361 words) Published: September 1, 2013
Preservation ethic is the belief that humans should protect the environment in a pristine, unaltered state. This environmental philosophy was made popular by John Muir who believed that nature should be treated with the same respect we give to cathedrals, and argued that nature deserved protection for its own inherent value. Conservation ethic is the belief that people should put natural resources to use but that we have the responsibility to manage them wisely, which promotes the prudent, efficient, and sustainable extraction and use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. This philosophy was made popular by Gifford Pinchot. Personally, I identify with the conservation ethic more than the preservation ethic. All living creatures on this planet require resources provided by the earth, but with the human population acting as the greatest absorbent of natural resources, we have the greatest responsibility to ensure that we do not tilt the delicate balance of ecosystems that cause unforeseen consequences. The preservation ethic is more relevant to me when an area of land has a delicate ecosystem that would likely be unable to adapt to human influence. Tennessee has many relevant examples of conservation and preservation ethics. Radnor Lake is one area where the conservation ethic was a good choice. The 1,200 acres of land was originally purchased by L&N Railroad Company around 1910 to supply water for their steam engines, livestock, and served as recreation for L&N employees until 1923 when it was declared as a “Wildlife Sanctuary”. This area is now a public park that is a great destination for scenic hiking, while making a minimal impact on the native ecosystem. The Smokey Mountain region in east Tennessee is a prime example of a preservation ethic. There are many large areas that are protected from human residency in both the forests and caves. There are many caves in that region that do not allow human interaction and,...
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