It is tempting to believe that, during this period, Leopold discovered his revolutionary land ethic, that his thinking underwent a profound religious-metaphysical-moral change, and that his aboutface on predator control programs was a direct result of this profound philosophical conversion. Since Leopold was acting, in 1920, as a representative of the US Forest Service, which remained under the philosophical domination of Gifford Pinchot's humanistic utilitarianism, this interpretation sees Leopold as later rejecting utilitarian management because he came to espouse "a right to exist" for all members of the land community.2