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Renewable Natural Resources
Course Code
RNR 1001

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Test 1 10/14/2011 5:46:00 PM
I. Natural Resource Conservation
a. What is a resource?
i. Something that can be used for support of help
b. What is a natural resource?
i. Something found in nature that is necessary or useful to
ii. Ex: forest, mineral deposits, fresh water
c. What is a renewable natural resource?
i. Something that is necessary or useful to humans that is
constantly replenished by natural processes
d. Aldo Leopold (1887-1946)
i. One of the most famous conservationists; prof at Wisconsin
ii. Conservation is “…a state of harmony b/w men & land”
iii. Land ethic: “existence of an ecological conscience…individual
responsibility for the health of the land”
iv. Sustainabilitythe key concept for renewable resource
v. Wrote The Land Ethic in 1949, mostly in response to Forest
Service policies that favored harvesting in national forests
vi. Considered 3 phases in the development of human ethics
1. Relationships among individuals
2. Relationships b/w individuals and society
3. The individual’s relationship to land and nature
II. Sustainability
a. A rate of resource use that meets present needs w/o impairing their
ability to meet the needs of future generations
b. CBD (Convention of Biological Diversity)earth Summit in 1992
binding treaty currently signed by 193 Parties (a.k.a. countries)
i. Sustainable use means the use of the components of biological
diversity in a sway and a rate that does not lead to the long-
term decline of (ecosystems, species, and genetic material),
thereby maintaining (their) potential to meet the needs and
aspirations of present and future generations
ii. Ex: blue-fin tuna producing 1,000 tons of food for humans, but
they are still able to reproduce/maintain their population
1. we must not take more than necessary in order to keep
the balance b/w what is taken & what is reproduced

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2. if more is taken than necessaryendangerment
3. resource must function the same way it has been
functioning beforewe must not alter its lifestyle
III. History of Conservation
a. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat
it.” –George Santayana (1905)
b. Exploitation of natural resources has accompanied the growth of
human civilizations throughout history; lack of sustainability ahs
also contributed to their decline and fall
i. Ex: not re-planting trees after cutting them down
ii. Ex: Roman Empire
1. Deforestation & overgrazingmassive erosionforest
lossincrease in marshlands along the
2. Salinization from irrigationcrop reductions
3. Species extinctionsloss of mesocarnivores (foxes,
badgers, etc.)explosion of rodent populationscrop
4. Pollution, high levels of smelting, high levels of lead in
silver utensils & water pipes, urban dust/smoke, lack of
garbage & sewage disposal (raw sewage from Roman
sewers dumped in the Tiber River, flooding caused flow
5. Significant contribution to the Roman Empire decline in
4th & 5th centuries
c. Industrial Age (late 1700s)
i. Steam engine in the late 18th cent, gas in late 19th cent
ii. Small-scale production by handlarge scale production by
machine, w/ energy from fossil fuels & hydropower
iii. Pervasive pollution & degradation of forests, water & land to
support industry & growing urban centers
d. The Romantic Age (late 18th & 19th cents)
i. Reaction against the industrial age & anti-science and
technologyseen as de-humanizing ppl and degrading nature

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ii. Science/technology viewpoint felt that beauty had no objective
existence and nature had no intrinsic value until used by
humans, and that all systems could be understood through
iii. Romanticists viewed nature as more than the sum of its parts,
w/ intrinsic value related to biodiversity & ecological function
apart from human utilitarian value
iv. Naturalists, botanists, and zoologists of this time also wrote
about nature, and the impacts of colonization and exploitation
by European powers on distant lands, massive resource
extraction and ecosystem degradation
e. Alexander von Humboldt (Germany 1779-1859)
i. South American expedition b/w 1799 & 1804
ii. Wrote about oyster overfishing, overharvesting of trees and
changes in water sources to lakes, overharvesting of birds and
turtle eggs, and lack of reforestation
f. North America
i. Long history of naturalists throughout American expansion and
1. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
a. Naturalist writer (Walden) & perhaps anarchist
b. Wrote extensively about nature, including forest
succession & how the world works
2. George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882)
a. Scientists and congressman from VT (Man and
Nature, 1864)
b. Wrote about naturals laws and harmony; humans
cause “disturbed harmonies”
3. John Muir (1839-1914)
a. Founded the Sierra Club in 1892
b. Wrote about environmental destruction from
development in CA
4. Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946)
a. First chief of the Forest Service (1905-1910)
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