Originally published in 1952, this title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates the University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology.
The German Siegfried von Ciriacy-Wantrup is considered one of the pioneers of natural resource economics. One reviewer has called his classic book Resource Conservation as timely today as a basic frame of reference for conservation issues as it was at the time of publication. In it, Wantrup presents a logical and carefully written synthesis of economic principles important to the conservation of natural resources. He examines the effects of interest rates, time preferences, incomes, taxes, prices and price supports, market form, economic instability, property, tenancy, credit, irrationality, extra-market values, uncertainty, and habit patterns on resource use and conservation. One of the main principles formulated in this book is the "safe minimum standard of conservation". This is the idea that natural resources should not be allowed to decline below a minimum level below which their availability would become economically irreversible, and could lead to e.g. species extinctions and civilizational decline. This should be determined separately for different resources and serve as a base level of international action. Especially under conditions of risk and uncertainty, he argues that a safe minimum standard is more readily achievable than optimum conservation. This concept is still relevant to the field today, explaining the staying power and classic status of this text.