MDC hosts free Susan Flader presentation on Aldo Leopold

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Aldo Leopold profoundly influenced conservation and environmental movements in America, instilling concepts of land health and ethics as key components for managing wildlife and agriculture resources sustainably. His classic book, A Sand County Almanac, published in 1949 a year after his death, still reverberates among the most vigorous and insightful nature writings ever printed. But Leopold, known for his later years living in Wisconsin, also interacted with Missouri during his career via conservation and family ties.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC)  Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will host a free special presentation about Leopold 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City. Susan Flader, University of Missouri professor emerita of environmental, western, and Missouri history, will explore Leopold’s frequent engagement with Missouri and Missourians, and the challenges he posed and still poses for our time. The program is presented in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council.

The program’s title, “Wither Missouri? Aldo Leopold’s Challenge,” comes from a speech Leopold made in Missouri in 1938. Voters in 1936 had approved a constitutional amendment creating the Missouri Conservation Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation.  That vote enabled science-based forestry, fish and wildlife management and made Missouri a national conservation leader. Leopold in his speech challenged the new agency to recognize the importance of farmers and landowners in conservation efforts.

Leopold’s ties to Missouri included game surveys, quail hunting trips, and property he owned on the Current River. Both his ancestors and his children had professional and personal ties in the state. Flader will explore Leopold’s history and the conservation issues he raised.

The public is invited to a reception with Flader at 6 p.m. prior to the presentation. For information, call 816-759-7300. Information about the Discovery Center is available at