In the early 1930s, Aldo Leopold, a forester, writer, professor, and influential conservationist, purchased a small farm and rehabilitated a chicken coop in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It functioned as a place in which his conservation principles and environmental philosophies could be put into practice. Leopold and his wife and children rehabilitated the Shack, as it was lovingly referred, as a weekend retreat requiring only the bare essentials needed to live off the land and enjoy the natural environment. Modern necessities ignored, the Shack and the surrounding landscape provided the Leopolds an educational experience that could not be duplicated in an urban environment. The setting of the Shack provided inspiration for Leopold’s writings on conservation, the environment, and wildlife. After Leopold’s death in 1948, A Sand County Almanac was published as a collection of personal essays and sketches composed by Leopold predominately at the farm and the Shack. A Sand County Almanac is an influential book that covers a broad range of conservation philosophies that remain widely used and respected by professionals in the field and others interested in conservation, the environment, and wildlife management.
Originally published in "Exceptional Places" Vol. 4, 2009, a newsletter of the Division of Cultural Resources, Midwest Region. Written by National Park Service Staff.