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WILDERNESS Quotes

"But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need - if only we had eyes to see." -- Edward Abbey

"I come more and more to the conclusion that wilderness, in America or anywhere else, is the only thing left that is worth saving." -- Edward Abbey

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders." -- Edward Abbey

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." -- Edward Abbey

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter."
-- Rachel Carson

I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors. In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe.
-- Justice William O. Douglas

"If you live for love you spread kindness and compassion everywhere you go. When you stop believing in your heart you are but a sterile vessel wandering in the wilderness."
-- Francis Hegmeyer

"Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization." ~ Aldo Leopold

"Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow... the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible."
~ Aldo Leopold

We have always had reluctance to see a tract of land which is empty of men as anything but a void. The "waste howling wilderness" of Deuteronomy is typical. The Oxford Dictionary defines wilderness as wild or uncultivated land which is occupied "only" by wild animals. Places not used by us are "wastes." Areas not occupied by us are "desolate." Could the desolation be in the soul of man?
~ John A. Livingston

What little wilderness remains displays the patterns we must return to, if our species and as many others as now remain are to persist here a while. Ideally this would call for a broad cultural rapprochment with the wild, a long overdue armistice in civilization’s war upon it.
~ Stephanie Mills

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. ~ John Muir

* "The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it ... So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for."
~ John Muir

"I hope the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by, or so poor she cannot afford to keep them." ~ Margaret Murie

"To secure our environmental legacy for future generations, we must find ways to reconcile humanity more satisfactorily with the natural systems upon which all human life and civilizations depend. We must recognize that the natural systems of which we are part have an intrinsic worth transcending narrow utilitarian values. They must be preserved for their own sake. No philosopher or religious thinker has been more sensitive to this intimate relationship between humanity and nature than St. Francis of Assisi. The powerful contemporary environmental tradition of preservation, of reverence for wilderness and protection for all living things - the ideal that sees, as John Muir said, ‘in God’s wildness... the hope of the world’ - virtually began with St. Francis."
-- William K. Reilly, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
"…short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things..."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

By means of trees, wildlife could be conserved, pollution decreased and the beauty of our landscapes enhanced. This is the way, or at least one of the ways, to spiritual, moral, and cultural regeneration.
~ E.F. Schumacher

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste.
~Wallace Stegner

* "Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man."
~ Stewart Udall

"If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go.... This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future."
~ Terry Tempest Williams

 

 

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