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Stories from the Leopold Shack

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 13:15

Estella Leopold, a University of Washington professor emeritus of biology, spent her career immersed in field botany and fossilized pollen grains. But this professional legacy sprouted from a childhood forged at her family’s shack in Wisconsin’s sand country. Her father, Aldo Leopold, made this location famous in his 1949 book “A Sand County Almanac,” which later helped fuel the modern conservation movement.

Estella Leopold, Aldo’s youngest, has now written a memoir of her formative years, “Stories from the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited.” She describes life on the land where her father practiced his revolutionary conservation philosophy. A professor of wildlife management at the University of Wisconsin, Aldo Leopold bought this property along the Wisconsin River as a weekend retreat. Those 80 acres had been forest, then farmland, and were abandoned once overgrazing depleted the soil. The Leopolds fixed up their weekendShack and planted native species — hundreds of pines and prairie plants — to resurrect some of the original vegetation.

From stories about wayward cows gobbling crops to the postman delivering Poco the squirrel, Estella Leopold infuses her book with vignettes of life at the shack. She paints an intricate, adventurous portrait of the land’s impact on her family and her father’s philosophy. Estella Leopold will read from “Stories from the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited” Nov. 10 at 5:30 P.M. at the Burke Museum of History and Culture. She sat down with UW Today to discuss her book, the “Shack” and the modern conservation movement.

BOOK SIGNING EVENT: Thurs, Nov. 10th details HERE

Read the full article in UW Today

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