Quotes

The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth ... the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need -- if only we had the eyes to see.

-- Edward Abbey (American writer and naturalist)
A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.

-- Edward Abbey (American writer and naturalist)
The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone -- and to no one.

-- Edward Abbey (American writer and naturalist)
We who are gathered here may represent a particular delete, not of money and power, but of concern for the earth for the earth's sake.

-- Ansel Adams (American photographer)
I will sing the praises
Of this exalted to peak
As long as I have breath.

-- Yamabe Akahito (Japanese poet)
A land not mine, still
forever memorable,
the watchers of its ocean
chill and fresh.

Sand on the bottom whiter than chalk,
and the air drunk, like wine,
late sun lays bare
the rosy limbs of the pine trees.

Sunset in the ethereal waves:
I cannot tell if the day
is ending, or the world, or if
the secrets of secrets is inside me again.


-- Ann Akmatova (Russian poet)
Education and communication are vitally important in order to impress each individual of his or her responsibility regarding the healthy future of the Earth. The best way for students to recognize that their action can make a difference is to have projects organized by the school or community on which the students can work. Once convinced that they can help, people tend to change both their attitude and their behavior. New attitudes towards the environment will be reflected in decisions at home and in corporate boardrooms around the world.

-- Vanessa Allison (Student at North Toronto Collegiate High School), May 1986, from Our Common Future: The World Commission on Environment and Development
Wilderness is an anchor to windward. Knowing it is there, we can also know that we are still a rich nation, tending our resources as we should--not a people in despair searching every last nook and cranny of our land for a board of lumber, a barrel of oil, a blade of grass, or a tank of water.

-- Senator Clinton P. Anderson (Senator of New Mexico (1949-1973); U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1945-1948)), July 1963, from American Forests
Plants are created for the sake of animals, and animals for the sake of men; the tame for our use and provision; the wild, at least for the greater part, for our provision also, or for some other advantageous purpose, as furnishing us with clothes, and the like.

-- Aristotle (Greek philosopher)
You may not ever travel to Maine to see the Furbish lousewort. But the weeds in any patch of natural vegetation issue the same challenge. We have survived, say the weeds, since the Cretaceous. Man is a mere novice in evolution compared with us. He hasn't yet learnt the secret of the weeds: how to create fail-safe communities.

-- Eric Ashby (British botanist)
Humanity is cutting down its forests, apparently oblivious to the fact that we may not be able to live without them.

-- Isaac Asimov (Russian-American science fiction writer, essayist, and biochemist)
Man is not himself only...
He is all that he sees;
all that flows to him from a
thousand sources...
He is the land, the lift of its
mountain lines, the
reach of its valleys.

-- Mary Austin (Inyo writer)
There is no plant that is unimportant. The genetic information contained in the germ plasma of each species is unique and cannot be reproduced once the last living tissue is gone.

-- Edward Ayensu (Ghanaian biologist)
No beast has ever conquered the earth; and the natural world has never been conquered by muscular force.

-- Liberty Hyde Baily
No site in the forest is without significance, not a glade, not a thicket that does not provide analogies to the labyrinth of human thoughts. Who among those people with a cultivated spirit, or whose heart has been wounded, can walk in a forest without the forest speaking to him?... If one searched for the causes of that sensation, at once solemn, simple, gentle, mysterious, that seizes one, perhaps it would be found in the sublime and ingenious spectacle of all the creatures obeying their destinies, immutably docile.

-- Honore de Balzac (French realist writer)
If a certain assemblage of trees, of mountains, of waters, and of houses that we call a landscape is beautiful, it is not because of itself, but through me, through my own indulgence, through the thought or the sentiment that I attach to it.

-- Charles Baudelaire (French poet and critic)
In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it's unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature.

-- Mollie Beatty (Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (1993-1996))
What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.

-- Mollie Beatty (Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (1993-1996))
Nature includes all of the universe and man is not only a part of nature, he is in it up to his neck.

-- N.J. Berrill (Science writer)
The thing that I think is most important at this moment is an awareness of the totality of the person. One of the greatest stumbling blocks that people have today is understanding that one cannot experience life from the neck up... If I could I would wave a magic wand and have them be automatically convinced that brain existence is only a small part of their lives. They are missing out on a whole fantastic world.

-- Jean Berry
We recognize defeated landscapes by the absence of pleasure from them.

-- Wendell Berry (American poet, essayist, and conservationist)
Touch the earth, loved the earth, in honor the earth: her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirits in her solitary places.

-- Henry Beston (American writer and naturalist)
Where there is no vision, the people perish.

-- Bible, Proverbs 29:18
Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.

-- Bible, Job 12:8
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, not the trees.

-- Bible, Revelations 7:3
Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth.

-- Bible, Isaiah 5:8
The heavens declare God's glory and the magnificence of what made them. Each new dawn is a miracle; each new sky fills with beauty.

Their testimony speaks into the whole world and reaches to the ends of the earth.

In them is a path for the sign, who steps forth handsome as a bridegroom and rejoices like an athlete as he runs.

He starts at one and of the heavens and the circles to the other hand, and nothing can hide from his heat.


-- Bible, Psalm 19:16
The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German theologian)
Those who have the humility of a child may find again the key to reference for, and kinship with, all life.

-- J. Allen Boone (American writer)
There are no idealists in the plant world and no compassion. The rose and the morning glory know no mercy. Bindweed, the morning glory, will quickly choke its competitors to death, and the fencerow rose will just as quietly crowd out any other plant that tried to share its roothold. Idealism and mercy are human terms and human concepts.

-- Hal Borland (American writer)
A root, a stem, a leaf, some means of capturing sunlight and air and making food -- in some, a plant. The green substance of the earth, the chlorophyll, is all summed up in the plants. Without them we perish, all of us who are flesh and blood.

-- Hal Borland (American writer)
Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.

-- Paul Brooks
Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America.

-- Harvey Broome (Co-founder of The Wilderness Society)
Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness. Britain won its wars on the playing fields of Eton. America developed its mettle at the muddy gaps of the Cumberlands, in the swift rapids of its rivers, on the limitless reaches of its western plains, in the silent vastness of primeval forests, and in the blizzard-ridden passes of the Rockies and Coast ranges.

-- Harvey Broome (Co-founder of The Wilderness Society)
If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the world was and what it might, with understanding and loving husbandry, yet become.

-- Harvey Broome (Co-founder of The Wilderness Society)
These are islands in time -- with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.

-- Harvey Broome (Co-founder of The Wilderness Society)
To me, a wilderness is where the flow of wildness is essentially uninterrupted by technology; without wilderness the world is a cage.

-- David Brower (American environmentalist and mountaineer, founder of the Sierra Club)
I'm not against civilization, technology, or science. I just want us to use them well. We haven't learned to do that yet.

-- David Brower (American environmentalist and mountaineer, founder of the Sierra Club)
There is not as much wilderness out there as I wish there were. There is more inside than you think.

-- David Brower (American environmentalist and mountaineer, founder of the Sierra Club)
Do not feed children on a maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them nature. Let their souls drink in all that is pure and sweet. Rear them, if possible, amid pleasant surroundings ... Let nature teach them the lessons of good and proper living, combined with an abundance of well-balanced nourishment. Those children will grow to be the best men and women. Put the best in them by contact with the best outside. They will absorb it as a plant absorbs the sunshine and the dew.

-- Luther Burbank (American botanist, horticulturist, and pioneer in agricultural science)
Make no little plans, they have no power to stir men's souls.

-- Daniel Burnham (American architect and urban planner)
I am in love with this world. I have nestled lovingly in it. I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.

-- John Burroughs (American naturalist and writer)
The beauty of nature includes all that is called beautiful, as its flower, and all that is not called beautiful, as its stalk and roots.
Indeed, when I go to the woods or the fields, or a send to the hilltop, I do not seem to be gazing upon beauty at all, but to be breathing it like the air. I am not dazzled or astonished; I am in no hurry to look lest it be gone. I would not have the litter and debris removed, or at the bands trimmed, or the ground painted. What I enjoy is commensurate with the earth and sky itself. It clings to the rocks and trees; it is kindred to the roughness and savagery; it arises from every tangle and chasm; it perches on the dry oakstubs with the hawks and buzzards; the crows shed it from their wings and weave it in to their nests of coarse sticks; the fox barks it, the cattle low it, and every mountain path leads to its haunts. I am not a spectator of, but a participator in it. It is is not an adornment; its roots strike to the centre of the earth.

-- John Burroughs (American naturalist and writer), from Birds and Peots
See one promontory (said Socrates of old), one mountain, one sea, one river, and see all.

-- Robert Burton (English scholar and vicar at Oxford University)
If we are to have broad-thinking men and women of high mentality, of good physique and with a true perspective on life, we must allow our populace a communion with nature in areas of more or less wilderness condition.

-- Arthur Carhart (Forest Service official and pioneer in wilderness preservation movement)
There is a limit to the number of lands of shoreline on the lakes; there is a limit to the number of lakes in existence; there is a limit to the mountainous area of the world, and... there are portions of natural scenic beauty which are God-made and... which of a right should be the property of all people.

-- Arthur Carhart (Forest Service official and pioneer in wilderness preservation movement)
Our newly found capacity for dealing mass death has us to overlook momentarily the more gentle sciences which underwrite life and affect the survival of man as surely as does the atom. In the last analysis, we know and do in conservation... will determine whether or not people and nations of the earth will continue to exist.

-- Arthur Carhart (Forest Service official and pioneer in wilderness preservation movement), 1962
We believe that ugliness begets ugliness and that nature's beauty, once destroyed, may never be restored by the artifice of man.

-- Carl Carmer (American writer)
I held a blue flower in my hand, probably a wild aster, wondering what its name was, and then thought that human names for natural things are superfluous. Nature herself does not name them. The important thing is to know this flower, look at its color until the blends becomes as real as a keynote of music. Look at the exquisite yellow flowerettes at the center, become very small with them. Be the flower, be the trees, the blowing grasses. Fly with the birds, jump with a squirrel!

-- Sally Carrighar (American nature writer), from Home to the Wilderness
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. The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea, and sky and their amazing life.

-- Rachel Carson (Author of Silent Spring)
[W]e're challenged as [humankind] has never been challenged before. To prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.

-- Rachel Carson (Author of Silent Spring)
The shore is an ancient world, for as long as there has been an earth and sea there has been this place of the meeting of land and water. Yet it is a world that keeps alive the sense of continuing creation and of the relentless drive of life. Each time that I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty and its deeper meanings, sensing that intricate fabric of life by which one creature is linked with another, and each with its surroundings...

There is a common thread that links these scenes and memories -- the spectacle of life in all its varied manifestations as it has appeared, evolved, and sometimes died out. Underlying the beauty of the spectacle there is meaning and significance. It is the elusiveness of that meaning that haunts us, that sends us again and again into the natural world where the key to the riddle is hidden. It sends us back to the edge of the sea, where the drama of life played its first scene on earth and perhaps even its prelude; where the forces of evolution are at work today, as they have been since the appearance of what we know as life; and where the spectacle of living creatures faced by the cosmic realities of their world is crystal clear.


-- Rachel Carson (Author of Silent Spring), The Edge of the Sea
The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man.

-- Rachel Carson (Author of Silent Spring)
Now I hear the sea sounds about me; the night high tide is rising, swirling with a confused rush of waters against the rocks below...

Once this rocky coast beneath me was the plain of sand; then the sea rose and ground a new shore line. And again in some shadowy future the surf will have ground these rocks to sand and will have returned the coast to its earlier state. And so in my mind's eye these coastal forms merge and blend in a shifting, kaleidoscope pattern in which there is no finality, no ultimates and fixed reality -- earth becoming fluid as the sea itself.


-- Rachel Carson (Author of Silent Spring)
The earth's vegetation is part of a web of life in which there are intimate and essential relations between plants and the earth, between plants and other plants, between plants and animals. Sometimes we have no choice but to disturb these relationships, but we should do so thoughtfully, with full awareness that what we do may have consequences remote in time and place.

-- Rachel Carson (Author of Silent Spring)
Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature's varied forms.

-- George Washington Carver (African-American botanist, invented hundreds of uses for the peanut)
The land belongs to the future... that's the way it seems to me. How many names on the county clerk's plat will be there in fifty years? I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother's children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it -- for a little while.

-- Willa Cather (American writer)
The forest stretched no living man knew how far. That was the dead, sealed world of the vegetable kingdom, and uncharted continent with interlocking trees, living, dead, half-dead, their roots in bogs and swamps, strangling each other in a slow agony that had lasted for centuries. The forest was suffocation, annihilation.

-- Willa Cather (American writer)
Four in their hearts doth Nature stirred them so,
Then people long on pilgrimage to go,
and palmers to be seeding foreign strands,
Two distant shrines renowned in sundry lands.

-- Geoffrey Chaucer (English writer, author of "The Canterbury Tales")
(Michael Astroff) says that forests are the ornaments of the earth, that they teach mankind to understand beauty and attune his mind to lofty sentiments. Forests temper a stern climate, and in countries where the climate is milder, less strength is wasted in the battle with nature, and the people are kind and gentle.

-- Anton Chekhov (Russian short story writer and playwright)
Ordinarily the demands of utility are imperative and scenic beauty where it stands in the way must yield.

-- Hiram Chittenden (American writer, soldier, explorer, and engineer)
The great purpose is to set aside a reasonable part of the vanishing wilderness, to make certain that generations of Americans yet unborn will know what it is to experience life on undeveloped, unoccupied land in the same form and character as the Creator fashioned it... It is a great spiritual experience. I never knew a man who took a bedroll into an Idaho mountainside and slept there under a star-studded summer sky who felt self-important that next morning. Unless we preserve some opportunity for future generations to have the same experience, we shall have dishonored our trust.

-- Frank Church (Democratic Idaho Senator (1957-1981))
Believe one who knows; you will find something greater in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.

-- St. Bernard de Clairvaux (French abbott and primary builder of the Cistercian monastic order)
Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up, as did men of another age, to the challenge of nature. Modern man lives in a highly synthetic kind of existence. He specializes in this and that. Rarely does he test all his powers or find himself whole. But in the hills and on the water the character of a man comes out.

-- Abram T. Collier
The size of the parcel of land matters less than the relationship of the people to it.

-- Joseph Collins (U.S. Army General and Army Chief of Staff during the Korean War)
Every particle of every thing rocks, water, flour, human

has been in the same place flaming
in the heart of our ancient sun
before the earth
came flying out of it.

The irises in your eyes
the tissue of roses

the slow giant rocks in mountainheads

were all born flaming
locked in the sun as it drifted
like a light on dark water.


-- Lawrence Collins
Parks are at the center of a community's character; they reflect and strengthen the sense of place and identity that makes cities fit places for people.

-- Conservation Foundation
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the Sunset.

-- Crowfoot
There can be no greater moral obligation in the environmental field than to ease out the living space and replace dereliction by beauty.

-- Frank Fraser Darling (English ecologist, ornithologist, farmer and writer)
To the extent that we create or maintain beauty through an ordered diversity, we will also enhance the stability, health, and productivity of America.

-- Raymond F. Dasmann (Ecologist and essayist)
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.

-- Rene Daumal (French writer, philosopher, and poet)
That wonderful world of high mountains, dazzling in their rock and ice, acts as a catalyst. It suggests the infinite but it is not the infinite. The heights only give us what we ourselves bring them.

-- Lucien Devies (French mountaineer)
The progressive impairment of the parks by budgetary bloodletting is a national disgrace.

-- Bernard DeVoto (Author and historian of the American West)
To no one's landscape, to feel in sympathy with it, is often to be at peace with life. When all of the world seems wrong and the burdens overwhelming he can look out on the familiar fields and hills or get among them and give way to their beauties of form and color as a resource within himself that will be an ever-present power of recuperation.

-- Richard E. Dodge
Man is whole when he is in tune with the winds, the stars, and the hills... Being in tune with the universe is the entire secrets.

-- William O. Douglas (U.S. Supreme Court Justice)
The concept of public welfare is broad and inclusive... The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aesthetic as well as monetary. It is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community should be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean.

-- William O. Douglas (U.S. Supreme Court Justice)
..... to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.

-- William O. Douglas (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), 1960
The Arctic has a call that is compelling. The distant mountains [of the Brooks Range in Alaska] make one want to go on and on over the next ridge and over the one beyond. The call is that of a wilderness known only to a few...This last American wilderness must remain sacrosanct.

-- William O. Douglas (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), from a speech by Jimmy Carter on February 29, 1980
The wilderness is a place of rest -- not in the sense of being motionless, for the lure, after all, is to move, to round the next bend. The rest comes in the isolation from distractions, in the slowing of the daily centrifugal forces that keep us off balance.

-- David Douglas (Scottish botanist)
The wooing of the Earth thus implies much more than converting the wilderness into humanized environments. It means also preserving natural environments in which to experience mysteries transcending daily life and from which to recapture, in a Proustian kind of remembrance, the awareness of the cosmic forces that have shaped humankind.

-- Rene Dubos (French-American microbiologist, environmentalist, humanitarian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author)
The tallgrass prairie dazzles the eye with an unending array of blooming plants, and this spectacle, with some seventeen new species coming into bloom each week, lasts from March until October. The tallgrasses themselves, big bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass, and cordgrass, to name the common ones, are the most powerful, the most expansive, the most majestic of all the prairie plants; they are the redwoods of the prairie.

-- Patricia D. Duncan
There is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.

-- The Eagles (70's rock band)
When all the dangerous cliffs are fenced off, all the trees that might fall on people are cut down,all of the insects that bite are poisoned... and all of the grizzlies are dead because they are occasionally dangerous, the wilderness will not be made safe. Rather, the safety will have destroyed the wilderness.

-- R. Yorke Edwards
Dandelions are the supreme symbol of the failure of human control, a yellow flag of mockery, and every time we burned that flag, back it comes, stronger than ever. No plants or animal is as obstinately perverse in its flaunting of human wishes.

-- David Ehrenfeld (Science writer and professor of biology at Rutgers University)
The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle…

-- Albert Einstein
We are one of many appearances of the thing called Life; we are not its perfect image, for it has no image except life, and life is multitudinous and emergent in the stream of time.

-- Loren Eiseley (American anthropologist, poet, ecologist, and science writer)
Sometimes the rarer, the beautiful can only emerge or survive in isolation. In a similar manner, some degree of withdrawal serves to nurture man's creative powers. The artist and scientist bring out of the dark void, like the mysterious universe itself, the unique, the strange, and unexpected.

-- Loren Eiseley (American anthropologist, poet, ecologist, and science writer)
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.

-- T. S. Eliot (American poet, dramatist, and literary critic)
Is not the sky a father and the earth a mother, and are not all living things with feet or wings or roots their children?

-- Black Elk (Medicine man of the Lakota (Sioux))
Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is!

-- Black Elk (Medicine man of the Lakota (Sioux))
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beheath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy…

-- Black Elk (Medicine man of the Lakota (Sioux))
Land is immortal, for its harbors the mysteries of creation.

-- Anwar el-Sadat (President of Egypt (1970-1981) and an influential leader in the modern Middle East)
In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
Without enough wilderness America will change. Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by the regular contact with outdoor growths -- animals, trees, sun warmth, and free skies -- or it will dwindle and pale.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
The greatest wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club), from a conversation with John Muir
The earth
laughs in flowers.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish. The knapsack of custom falls off his back.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
No land is bad, but land is worse. If a man owns land, the land owns him. Now let him leave home, if he dare.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. This is the best part of these men's farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds have no title.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
Plants are the young of the world. Vessels of health and vigor; but they grope ever upward towards consciousness; the trees are imperfect man, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American writer and philosopher and co-founder of Transcendental Club)
We consider species to be like a brick in the foundation of a building. You can probably lose one or two or a dozen bricks and still have a standing house. But by the time you've lost 20 per cent of species, you're going to destabilize the entire structure. That's the way ecosystems work.

-- Donald Falk, May 26, 1989, from the Christian Science Monitor
Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awakened people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good flammable stuff, it will catch fire.

-- Anatole France (Nobel Prize-winning French author)
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God…I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

-- Anne Frank (German diarist and Holocaust victim)
The creation of the mental domain of phantasy has a complete counterpart in the establishment of "reservations" and "nature-parks."... The "reservation" is to maintain the old condition of things which has been regretfully sacrificed to necessity everywhere else; there everything make grow and spread as it pleases, including what is it useless and even what is harmful. The mental realm of phantasy is also such a reservation reclaimed from the encroachment of the reality-principle.

-- Sigmund Freud (Austrian "father of psychoanalysis")
The survival of the human species is inescapably linked with the survival of all other forms of life.

-- Michael Frome (American outdoor and environmental writer)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step and trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a woods, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


-- Robert Frost (American poet), The Road Not Taken
Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

-- Robert Frost (American poet)
The land was ours before... we were her people.

-- Robert Frost (American poet)
Acceptance is the art of making the obstacle the path. Therefore, embrace the enemy. This is the lesson of the river guide: face the danger, move toward it, that's where the current is the strongest, and it will carry you around the obstacle. Use it.

-- China Galland (Author of "The Bond Between Women" and "Women in the Wilderness")
The unlimited capacity of a plant world to sustain man at his highest is a region as yet unexplored by modern science.

-- Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi (Political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement)
I do not know of a flowering plant that tastes good and is poisonous. Nature is not out to get you.

-- Euell Gibbons (American proponent of natural diets and wild foods and author of "Stalking the Wild Asparagus")
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

-- Kahlil Gibran (Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer)
The potential output of the 9,000 million acres of world forest...indicate(s) that the forests can be made to produce about 50 times their present volume of end products and still remain a permanently self-renewing source for our raw-material supplies. Only forests -- no other raw-material resource -- can yield such returns. The forest can, and so must, end the chronic scarcities of material goods that have harassed man's existence since the beginning of history.

-- Egon Glesinger (Austian forester, founder of the Comite International du Bois, and author of "Nazis in the Woodpile" and "The Coming Age of Wood")
There is a great deal of talk these days about saving the environment. We must, for the environment sustains our bodies. But as humans we also require support for our spirits, and this is what certain kinds of places provide. The catalyst that converts any physical location -- any environment if you will -- into a place, is the process of experiencing deeply. A place is the piece of the whole environment that has been claimed by feelings. Viewed simply as a life-support system, the earth is an environment. Viewed as a resource that sustains our humanity, the earth is a collection of places. We never speak, for example, of an environment we have known; it is always places we have known -- and recall. We are homesick for places, we are reminded of places, it is the sounds and smells and sights of places which haunt us and against which we often measure our present.

-- Alan Gussow (American artist, gardener and president of Friends of the Earth Foundation), from A Sense of Place
In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of its simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.

-- Dag Hammarskjold (Swedish diplomat and second secretary-general of the United Nations, winner of the 1961 Nobel Peace Prize)
So rests the sky against the earth. The dark still tarn in the lap of the forest. As a husband embraces his wife's body in faithful tenderness, so the bare ground and trees are embraced by this still, high, light of the morning.

I feel an ache of longing to share in this embrace, to be united and absorbed. A longing like carnal desire, but directed towards earth, water, sky, and returned by the whispers of the trees, the fragrance of the soil, the caresses of the wind, the embrace of water and light. Content? No, no, no -- but refreshed, rested -- while waiting.


-- Dag Hammarskjold (Swedish diplomat and second secretary-general of the United Nations, winner of the 1961 Nobel Peace Prize)
Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with the scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the midst-blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there's been no rain
The pine sings, but there's no wind.
Who can lead the world's ties
And sit with me among the white clouds?

-- Han-shan (Mythological figure of 8th or 9th century Chinese Taoist/Zen poetry)
What was the visit (to a park) like 25 years ago, and what is it like now?... There is no way to increase the number of quality parks. People go to the parks for quiet, solitude, and the feeling of space.

-- Garrett Hardin (American ecologist)
What America does not do well is anticipate and avoid problems. Unfortunately, many environmental phenomena involve thresholds that, when passed, caused damage that is essentially irreversible. If we wait until the damage occurs and then respond, it will be too late.

-- Denis Hayes (American environmentalist and proponent of solar energy, coordinatior of the first Earth Day in 1970)
Experimenting
I hung the moon
on various
branches of the pine

-- Tachibana Hokushi (Japanese haiku poet and sword polisher)
I have come to terms with the future. From this day onward I will walk easy on the earth. Plant trees. Kill no living things. Live in harmony with all creatures. I will restore the earth where I am. Use no more of its resources than I need. And listen, listen to what it is telling me.

-- M.J. Slim Hooey
I... thanked the Author of my being for the gift of that wild forest, those green mansions where I had found so great a happiness!

-- William Henry Hudson (Naturalist and ornithologist, co-founder of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I've bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like rivers.


-- Langston Hughes (African-American poet, novelist and playwrite, key figure in the Harlem Renaissance)
(Plants) are superb opportunist among, the most of different combinations of water, air, soil, and climate. Their grip on the planet, their capacities for colonization, and their integration with the environment are due to an outstanding diversification and variety.

-- Anthony Huxley (British botanist and author of many books on horticulture and gardening)
My heart is tuned to the quietness that the stillness of nature inspires.

-- Hazrat Inayat Khan (Indian Sufi teacher and founder of the Sufi Order in the West (now the Sufi Order International))
We love quiet; we suffer the mouse to play; when the woods are rustled by the wind, we fear not.

-- Indian Chief, 1796, to the governor of Pennsylvania
Her mighty lakes, like oceans of liquid silver; her mountains with their right aerial tints; her valleys, teeming with wild fertility; her tremendous cataracts, thundering in their solitudes; her boundless plains, waving with spontaneous verdure; her brought deep rivers, rolling in solemn silence to the ocean; her trackless forests, where vegetation puts forth all its magnificence; her skies, kindling waves in the magic of the summer clouds and glorious sunshine; -- no, never need an American look beyond his own country for the sublime and beautiful of natural scenery.

-- Washington Irving (American author famous for "Rip van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow")
Dew evaporates
and all our world
is dew…so dear,
so refreshing, so fleeting.

-- Kobayashi Issa (Japanese haiku poet)
The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colors, lights and shade. These I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.

-- Francis Lee Jaques (American wildlife painter), from an old gravestone in Cumberland, England; favorite quote of F. Lee Jaques
The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours when we truly live.

-- Richard Jefferies (English nature writer)
The greatest beauty is organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty of the universe. Love that, not man apart from that…

-- Robinson Jeffers (American poet)
Making a town more beautiful and more human can lessen tensions and friction. Any city can do it; and any city would do well to do it.

-- Lady Bird Johnson (First Lady 1963-1969 and founder of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center in Austin, Texas)
Flowers in a city are like lipstick on a woman -- it just makes you look better to have a little color.

-- Lady Bird Johnson (First Lady 1963-1969 and founder of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center in Austin, Texas)
When I got to be 70, I thought, I'm going to take time to do what I really yearn to do, and that is work with native plants, wildflowers and trees, and encourage their use in the nation's landscape so they won't just be something of the past but will be passed on to our grandchildren.

-- Lady Bird Johnson (First Lady 1963-1969 and founder of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center in Austin, Texas)
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.

-- Lyndon B. Johnson (36th President of the United States), on the Wilderness Act
We must not only protect the country side and save it from destruction, we must resort what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities... Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature, his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted.

-- Lyndon B. Johnson (36th President of the United States)
What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!

-- Helen Keller, from The Story of My Life
Each day comes to me with both hands full of possibilities, and in its brief course I discern all the verities and realities of my existence; the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the spirit of beauty.

-- Helen Keller
I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty, which will protect the beauty of our natural environment, which will preserve the great old American houses and squares and parks of our national past and which will build handsome and balanced cities for our future.

-- John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States)
The supreme reality of our time is... the vulnerability of our planet.

-- John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States)
National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.

-- John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States)
The earth, born in fire, baptized by lightning, since before life's beginning has been and is, a fire planet.

-- E.V. Komarek
Not to have known -- as most men have not -- either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one’s self.

-- Joseph Wood Krutch (American writer, critic, and naturalist)
The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit.

-- Joseph Wood Krutch (American writer, critic, and naturalist), 1958, from Today and All Its Yesterdays
On a clear winter morning, just as the sun rises high enough for its slanting rays to shine horizontally through the trees, disclosing each branch and needle, backlit and rimmed with fire, each intricate facets of the snow crystals distinct and glittering, each contour and dip of the land plainly outlined by the conforming snow, I lay my track through the snow -- a silent listener awaiting Being. And Being responds. I move so silently and swiftly that deer, rabbits, and weasels are surprised and caught him in their inner lives; so swiftly and silently they do not flee but stand out in their beings. Each tree-being, aspen and fir, lit from within, stands out. The shape of the land is shone forth more clearly than in the summer, when its contours are masked and hidden by vegetation. The earth more present, the sky more present, by, the human, more present in total awareness…

-- Dolores LaChapelle (American mountaineer, skier and leader in the deep ecology movement)
Nothing is less known; nothing more neglected. The forest is a gift of nature which it is sufficient to except just as it calms from her hands.

-- Georges-Louis Leclerc (French naturalist, biologist, mathemetician and author)
Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend. You cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say you cannot have game and hate predators. The land is one organism.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
The key to intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
The time is almost upon us when a pack-train must wind its way up a graveled highway and turn its bellmare in the pasture of a summer hotel. When that day comes, the pack-train will be dead, the diamond hitch will be merely rope, and Kit Carson and Jim Bridger will be names in a history lesson. And thenceforth the march of empire will be a matter of gasoline and four wheel brakes.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management), 1925
The richest values of wilderness lie not in the days of Daniel Boone, nor even in the present, but rather in the future.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
The good life on any river may... depend on the perception of its music, and the preservation of some music to perceive.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
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 (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Wilderness, then, assumes unexpected importance as a laboratory for the study of land - health.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Wilderness is a continuous stretch of county preserved in its natural state, open to lawful hunting and fishing, big enough to absorb a two weeks’ pack trip, and kept devoid of roads, artificial trails, cottages, or other works of man.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Wilderness areas are first of all a series of sanctuaries for the primitive arts of wilderness travel, especially canoeing and packing.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Man always kills the things he loves, and so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Having to squeeze the last drop of utility out of the land has the same desperate finality as having to chop up the furniture to keep warm.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management), 1949, from A Sand County Almanac
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management), 1949, from A Sand County Almanac
Ability to see the cultural value of wilderness boils down, in the last analysis, to a question of intellectual humility. The shallow-minded modern who has lost his rootage in the land assumes that he has already discovered what is important.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in part, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language. The quality of cranes lies, I think, in this higher gamut, as yet beyond the reach of words.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
There is yet no social stigma in the possession of a gullied form, a wrecked forest or a polluted stream, provided the dividends suffice to send the youngsters to college. What ever ails the land, the government will fix it.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals. Food chains are the living channels which conduct energy upward; death and decay return it to the soil. The circuit is not closed; some energy is dissipated in decay, some is added by absorption from the air, some is stored in soils, peats, and long-lived forests; but it is a sustained circuit, like a slowly augmented revolving fund of life.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
The art of land doctoring is being practiced with vigor, but the science of land health is yet to be born.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
We of the genus Homo ride the logs that float down the Round river, and by a little judicious "burling" we have learned to guide their direction and speed. This feat entitles us to the specific appellation sapiens. The technique of burling is called economics, the remembering of old routes is called in history, the selection of new ones is called statesmanship, the conversation about oncoming rifles and rapids is called politics. Some of the crew aspire to burl not only their own blogs, but the whole flotilla as well. This collective bargaining with nature is called national planning.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. And ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.

-- Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management)
Gueorgui love to the forest, the forest as old as a legend, gentle as a mother and stern as a father.

-- Nicolai Levkov
Laws change; people die; the land remains.

-- Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States)
The land, the earth God gave to man for his home...should never be the possession of any man, corporation, (or) society...any more than the air or water.

-- Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States)
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.

-- Charles A. Lindbergh (American aviator, flew first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1927), December 22, 1967, from Life
Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.

-- Charles A. Lindbergh (American aviator, flew first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1927), May 23, 1971, from New York Times Magazine
Park and open-space efforts can be described as an institutional reflection of the principal means by which urban man has historically engaged in the Edenic search. He has, since the beginnings of civilization, sought gardeners in his cities, a pastoral landscape outside of his cities, and wilderness for retreat away from his cities. Baghdad boasts a thousand gardens; Alexander set aside one quarter of his North African city as a park;...wilderness served as retreat for Jesus of Nazareth, as it did later for the Waldenisians and the Franciscans; and mediation in the wilderness is a common theme in Far Eastern cultures. Thus, there is good evidence that a prosperity for greenery as a substitute Eden in urban civilizations is not a particularity of any single race, religion, or national culture.

-- Charles E. Little (American author of "The Dying of the Trees")
The good news is that Americans will, in increasing numbers, begin to value and protect the vast American landscape. The bad news is that they may love it to death.

-- Charles E. Little (American author of "The Dying of the Trees")
What is curious about this singular acknowledgments of landscape for other than economic values is that its political justification is not primarily a matter of "taste" or anesthetics, but rather of egalitarian public service, having to do with recreational opportunity and, to a lesser extent, ecological "balance" as a subsidiary rationale.

-- Charles E. Little (American author of "The Dying of the Trees")
It seems to me that aesthetics is an area of immense ethical failure. We have a thousand times more ecological consciousness than aesthetic consciousness and we have a hundred times more consciousness of the issues of social equity in the ownership and use of land. Yet, aesthetics has no parity with equity and with ecology, even though aesthetics, more than any aspect of the land ethic, feeds the spirit in direct ways.

-- Charles E. Little (American author of "The Dying of the Trees")
All things are symbols: the external shows of Nature have their image in the mind…

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (American poet)
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks...Stand like Druids of old.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (American poet)
The land is like poetry: it is inexplicably coherent, it is transcendent in its meaning, and it has the power to elevate a consideration of human life.

-- Barry Lopez (American nature writer)
Natural species are the library from which genetic engineers can work.

-- Thomas E. Lovejoy (Conservation biologist, helped raise awareness of tropical rainforest conservation issues), October 13, 1986, from Time
I have learned a lot from trees;
Sometimes about the weather,
Sometimes about animals,
Sometimes about the Great Spirits.

-- Tatanga Mani "Walking Buffalo" (Chief of the Nakoda, medicine man, naturalist, and peace advocate)
There is just one hope for repulsing the tyrannical ambition of civilization to conquer every inch on the whole earth. That hope is the organization of spirited people who will fight for the freedom and preservation of the wilderness.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society)
For me and for thousands with similar inclinations, the most important passion of life is the overpowering desire to escape periodically from the clutches of a mechanistic civilization. To us the enjoyment of solitude, complete independence, and the beauty of undefiled panoramas is absolutely essential to happiness.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society)
The preservation of a few samples of undeveloped territory is one of the most clamant issues before us today. Just a few more years of hesitation and the only trace of that wilderness which has exerted such a fundamental influence in molding American character will lie in the musty pages of pioneer books ... To avoid this catastrophe demands immediate action.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society)
As society becomes more and more mechanized, it will be more and more difficult for many people to stand the nervous strain, the high pressure, and the drabness of their lives. To escape these abominations, constantly growing numbers will seek the primitive for the fines features of life.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society), from The People’s Forests by Robert Marshall, published originally in 1933, taken from the current edition published by University of Iowa Press, 2003
It seems distinctly an understatement to hold that each all-day visitor to the forest derives as much pleasure form it as he would derive from a 2-hour motion-picture show. I have estimated that in the United States approximately 250 million man-days a year are devoted to forest recreation. If the admission price to a movie averages 25 cents, this gives the annual American forest recreation a value of $62,500,000. This is the minimum that people probably would pay for the privilege of using the forest if the price were asked. The incidental fact that people have to pay for admission to the movies and do not usually have to pay for admission to the forests does not mean that the outdoor recreation is any less valuable.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society), from The People’s Forests by Robert Marshall, published originally in 1933, taken from the current edition published by University of Iowa Press, 2003
Although huge sums of money are involved in any basis of calculation, the most important values of forest recreation are not susceptible of measurement in monetary terms. They are concerned with such intangible considerations as inspiration, aesthetic enjoyment, and a gain in understanding.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society), from The People’s Forests by Robert Marshall, published originally in 1933, taken from the current edition published by University of Iowa Press, 2003
Finally, there are those whose chief purpose in visiting the forests is simply an escape from civilization. These people want to rest from the endless chain of mechanization and artificiality which bounds their lives. In the forest they temporarily abandon a routine to which they cannot become wholly reconciled, and return to that nature in which hundreds of generations of their ancestors were reared.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society), from The People’s Forests by Robert Marshall, published originally in 1933, taken from the current edition published by University of Iowa Press, 2003
Any one who has stood upon a lofty summit and gazed over an inchoate tangle of deep canyons and cragged mountains, of sunlit lakelets and black expanses of forest, has become aware of a certain giddy sensation that there are no distances, no measures, simply unrelated matter rising and falling without any analogy to the banal geometry of breadth, thickness, and height.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society), from The People’s Forests by Robert Marshall, published originally in 1933, taken from the current edition published by University of Iowa Press, 2003
A third peculiarity about the forest is that it exhibits a dynamic beauty. A Beethoven symphony or a poem of Shelley, a landscape by Corot or a Gothic cathedral, once it is finished becomes virtually static. But the wilderness is in constant flux. A seed germinates, and a stunted seedling battles for decades against the dense shade of the virgin forest. Then some ancient tree blows down and the long-suppressed plant suddenly enters into the full vigor of delayed youth, grows rapidly from sapling to maturity, declines into the conky senility of many centuries, dropping millions of seeds to start a new forest upon the rotting debris of its own ancestors, and eventually topples over to admit the sunlight which ripens another woodland generation.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society), from The People’s Forests by Robert Marshall, published originally in 1933, taken from the current edition published by University of Iowa Press, 2003
Many of our greatest American thinkers, men of the caliber of Thomas Jefferson, Henry Thoreau, Mark Twain, William James, and John Muir, have found the forest and effective stimulus to original thought.

-- Bob Marshall (Co-founder of the Wilderness Society)
The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, of Arizona.

-- Stephen Mather (First National Park Service Director (1917-1929))
It is the love of country that has lighted and that keeps glowing the holy fire of patriotism. And this love is excited, primarily, by the beauty of the country.

-- Horace J. McFarland (Pioneer in the National Parks Service)
The machine called Nature into an art form. For the first time at men began to regard Nature as a source of aesthetic and spiritual values.

-- Marshal McLuhan (Canadian philosopher and intellectual known for coining the phrases "the medium is the message" and "global village")
I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

-- Steve McQueen (Movie actor)
The universe has been quite literally writing upon humans for many thousands of years, and our alphabets are among the traits that nature has carved in order to cross our minds. Wild lands have caught deeper trails in my life than I will ever be able to make in the forest.

-- Joe Meeker (American human ecolgist, host of the 1980's National Public Radio show "Minding the Earth")
What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forests, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the bridges, and the talk of the water courses everywhere in the hollows!

Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.


-- Thomas Merton (Trappist monk and Catholic theologian), from Rain and the Rhinoceros
To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say
'I have seen spring in
these woods,' will not do -- you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

-- John Moffitt, from To Look at Any Thing
The size of the parcel of land matters less than the relationship of the people to it.

-- Frances Moores Lappe (Best-selling American author of "Diet for a Small Planet")
As long as you're on the side of parks, you're on the side of angels.

-- Robert Moses ("Master builder" of mid-twentieth century New York City, Long Island and other suburbs)
Keep close to Nature's heart, yourself; and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
In the midst of such beauty, pierced with its rays, one's body is all one tingling palate. Who wouldn't be a mountaineer! Up here all the world's prizes seem nothing.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club), on Yosemite
The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best He ever planted.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Like most other things not apparently useful to man, it has few friends, and the blind question "Why was it made?’ goes on and on, with never a guess that first of all it might have been made for itself.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown; for going out, I found, was really going in.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
I . . . am always glad to touch the living rock again and dip my hand in the high mountain air.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom on the mountaineer…

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The wind will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.


-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
The mountains are calling and I must go.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
In God's wildness lies the hope of the world -- the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
The grand show is eternal. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Sequoias, kings of their race, growing close together like grass in a meadow, poised their brave domes and spires in the sky three hundred feet above the ferns and lilies that enameled the ground; towering serene through the long centuries, preaching God's forestry fresh from heaven.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Wilderness is a necessity ... They will see what I meant in time. There must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls. Food and drink is not all. There is the spiritual. In some it is only a germ, of course, but the germ will grow.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
I care to live only to entice people to look at nature's loveliness. My only special self is nothing (I want to be) like a flake of glass through which light passes.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movement of water, or gardening -- still all is Beauty!

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waiting... wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not passed, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
How deep our sleep last night in the mountains here, beneath the trees and stars, hushed by solemn-sounding waterfalls and many small soothing voices in sweet accord whispering peace!

And our first pure mountain day, warm, calm, cloudless, -- how immeasurable it seems, how serenely wild! I can scarcely remember its beginning. Along the river, over the hills, in the ground, in the sky, spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm, new life, new beauty, unfolding, unrolling in glorious exuberant extravagance, -- new birds in their nests, new winged creatures in the air, and new leaves, new flowers, spreading, shining, rejoicing everywhere.


-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has its glorious starry firmament for a roof. In such places, standing alone on the mountaintop, it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make -- leaves and moss like the marmots and the birds, or tents or piled stone -- we all dwell in a house of one room -- the world with the firmament for its roof -- are all sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
When I discovered a new plant, I sat down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and hear what it had to tell... I asked the boulders I met, whence they came and whither they were going.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, profits, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains -- mountain-dwellers who have grown strong they are with the forest trees in Natures work-shops.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
If my soul could get away from this so-called prison, be granted all the list of attributes generally bestowed on spirits, my first ramble on spirit-wings would not be among the volcanoes of the moon. Nor should I follow the sunbeams to their sources in the sun. I should hover about the beauty of our own good star. I should not go moping around the tombs, nor around the artificial desolation of men. I should study Nature's laws in all their crossings and unions: I should follow magnetic streams to their source and follow the shores of our magnetic oceans. I should go among the rays of the aurora, and follow them to their beginnings, and study their dealings and communions with other powers and expressions of matter. And I should go to the very center of our globe and read the whole splendid page from the beginning.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
I have a low opinion of books; they are but piles of stones set up to show travelers where other minds have been, or at best smoke signals to call attention... One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cart load of books.

-- John Muir (American naturalist and co-founder of the Sierra Club)
Also there was considerable distrust of planning in any form. Planning was something the government was going to do to you. The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion, unfortunately.

-- Lewis Mumford (American historian of technology, science, and architecture)
There is growing awareness of the beauty of country ... a sincere desire to keep some of it for all time. People are beginning to value highly the fact that a river runs unimpeded for a distance... They are beginning to obtain deep satisfaction from the fact that a herd of elk may be observed in back country, on ancestral ranges, where the Indians once hunted them. They are beginning to seek the healing relaxation that is possible in wild country. In short, they want it.

-- Olaus J. Murie (Naturalist and co-founder of The Wilderness Society)
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 (Mardy) Murie (Known as "Grandmother of the Conservation Movement," wife of Olaus Murie)
Wilderness itself is the basis of all our civilization. I wonder if we have enough reverence for life to concede to wilderness the right to live on?

-- Margaret (Mardy) Murie (Known as "Grandmother of the Conservation Movement," wife of Olaus Murie)
Those who have packed far up into grizzly country know that the presences of even one grizzly on the land elevates the mountains, deepens the canyons, chills the winds, brightens the stars, darkens the forest, and quickens the pulse of all who enter it. They know that when a bear dies, something sacred in every living thing interconnected with that realm... also dies.

-- John Murray
The only thing we know for sure about the future is that it will be radically different from the past. In face of this enormous uncertainty, the least we can do for future generations is to pass on as many of the planet’s resources as possible.

-- Norman Myers (Author of The Sinking Ark)
Without knowing it, we utilize hundreds of products each day that owe their origin to wild animals and plants. Indeed our welfare is intimately tied up with the welfare of wildlife. Well may conservationists proclaim that by saving the lives of wild species, we may be saving our own.

-- Norman Myers (Author of The Sinking Ark), 1983, from A Wealth of Wild Species
The smaller we come to feel ourselves compared to the mountain, the nearer we come too participating in its greatness. I do not know why this is so.

-- Arne Naess (Norwegian philosopher and founder of deep ecology)
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all.

-- Ogden Nash (American poet)
Pesky fly buzzes
Horse swishes it's tail
Mountain summer.

-- John Nelson (retired wilderness manager)
Returned me, oh sun,
to my wild destiny,
rain of the ancient wood,
bringing me back to the aroma of swords
that fall from the sky,
the solitary peace of pasture and rock,
the damp at the river-margins,
the smell of the larch tree,
the wind alive like a heart
beating in the crowded restlessness
of the towering araucaria.

Earth, give me back your pure gifts,
the towers of silence which rose
from the solemnity of their roots.
I want to go back to being what I have not been,
and learn to go back from such deeps
that amongst all natural things
I could live or not live; it does not matter
to be one stone more, the dark stone,
the pure stone which the river bears away.


-- Pablo Neruda (Chilean writer and communist politician)
The Wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned how to ask.

-- Nancy Newhall (Conservationist writer and photography critic)
[The public lands represent] in a sense, the breathing space of the nation.

-- Richard M. Nixon (37th President of the United States), February 8, 1971, from an environmental message
The value of biodiversity is more than the sum of its parts.

-- Byran G. Norton (Environmentalist writer and professor of philosophy), September 21, 1986, from a speech, National Forum on Biodiversity, Washington, D.C.
All living creatures and all plants are a benefits to something.

-- Okute (Sioux Indian)
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

-- Mary Oliver (American poet), From poem Wild Geese
The enjoyment of the choicest natural scenes in the country and the means of recreation connected with them is a monopoly...of very few rich people...For the same reason that the water of rivers should be guarded against private appropriation and the use of it for the purpose of navigation and otherwise protected against obstruction, portions of the natural scenery may therefore properly be guarded and cared for by government...The establishment by government of great public grounds is thus justify and enforced as a public duty.

-- Frederick Law Olmsted (Landscape architech famous for designing New York City's Central Park)
We want a ground to which people may easily go after their days work is done, and where they may stroll for an hour, seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing of the bustle and jar of the streets, where they shall, in effect, find the city put far away from them... Practically, what we most want is a simple, broad, open space of clean greensward, with sufficient play of surface and a sufficient number of trees about it to supply a variety of light and shade... We want depth of wood enough about it not only for comfort in hot weather, but to completely shut out the city from our landscapes.

-- Frederick Law Olmsted (Landscape architech famous for designing New York City's Central Park)
Parks have plainly not come as a direct result of any of the great inventions or discoveries of the century. They are not, with us, simply an improvement on what we had before, growing out of a general advance of the arts applicable to them... It would seem rather to have been a common spontaneous movements of that sort which we conveniently refer to as the "Genius of Civilization."

-- Frederick Law Olmsted (Landscape architech famous for designing New York City's Central Park)
As long as there are young men with the light of adventure in their eyes or a touch of wildness in their souls, rapids will be run.

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)
The mist was all gone from the river now and the rapids sparkled and sang. They were still young as the land was young. We were there to enjoy it, and the great machines seemed far away.

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)
Beauty is composed of many things and never stands alone. It is part of horizons, blue in the distance, great primeval silences, knowledge of all things of the earth... It is so fragile it can be destroyed by a sound or thought. It may be infinitesimally small or encompass the universe itself. It comes in a swift conception wherever nature has not been disturbed.

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)
Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)
How often we speak of the great silences of the wilderness and of the importance of preserving them and the wonder and peace to be found there. When I think of them, I see the lakes and rivers of the North, the muskegs and expenses of tundra, the barren lands beyond all roads. I see the mountain ranges of the West and the high, rolling ridges of the Appalacians. I picture the deserts of the Southwest and their brilliant panoramas of color, the impenetrable swamp lands of the South. They will always be there and their beauty may not change, but should their silences be broken, they will never be the same.

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)
Awareness is becoming acquainted with the environments, no matter where one happens to be. Man does not suddenly become aware or infused with wonder; it is something we are born with. No child need be told its secrets; he keeps it until the influence of gadgetry and the indifference of teen-age satiation extinguish its intuitive joy.

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)
Since you're human, don't forget: it's not people who give pure, sweet water to plants -- it's the black-wet-bland soil that does. Since you're human…

-- Makoto Ooka (Japanese poet and literary critic)
I am trying to save the knowledge that the forests and this planet are alive, to give it back to you who have lost the understanding.

-- Paulinho Paiakan (Kayapo Indian chief)
Conservation is a foresighted utilization, preservation and/or renewal of forest, waters, lands and minerals, for the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time.

-- Gifford Pinchot (First Chief of the Forest Service)
Since the land is the parent, let the citizens take care of her more carefully than children do their mother.

-- Plato (Greek philosopher)
Since water still flows, though we cut it with swords
And sorrow returns, though we drown it with a wine,
Since the world can in no way answer to our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishing boat.

-- Li Po (Chinese Poet)
Live each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit puts the goal in mind. Many beautiful scenes can be observed from each new vantage point. Climb steadily, slowly, enjoy each passing moment; and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax to the journey.

-- Joe Porcino
Riverbanks lined with green trees, fragrant grasses: A place not sacred? Where?

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Zen Forest Saying
Coming, going, the waterfowl
Leaves not a trace,
Nor does its need a guide.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Zen Haiku
I think over again my small adventures;
my fears,
Those small ones that seemed so big;
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach,
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing:
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Old Inuit Song
The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Indian Proverb
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Zen Verse
The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts.
The voice of the earth is my voice.
All that belongs to the earth belongs to me.
All that surrounds the earth surrounds me.
It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Navajo Song
With the beauty before me,
May I walk
With beauty behind me,
May I walk
With beauty above me,
May I walk
With beauty below me,
May I walk
With beauty all around me,
May I walk
Wandering on a trail of beauty,
Lively, I walk.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Navajo Indians
If you plan for a year, plant rice. If you plan for ten years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, educate your children.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Chinese Proverb
Pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to escape the flame of separation from Nature.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Old Sufi saying
No matter how cold and wet you are, you're always warm and dry.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Old Woodsman's (Lie) Adage
Then he was told:
Remember what you have seen,
because everything forgotten
returns to the circling winds.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Lines from a Navajo chant
You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Chinese Proverb
When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Birdwatcher's Proverb
The great sea
Has sent me adrift
It moves me
As the weed in a great river
Earth and the great weather
Move me
Have carried me away
And moved my inward parts with joy.

-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Uvavnuk, Eskimo Song
The great sea stirs me.
The great sea sets me a drift,
it sways me like the weed
on a river-stone.

The sky's height stirs me.
The strong wind blows through my mind.
It carries me with it,
so I shake with joy.


-- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Uvavnuk
For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us who, in a city, are always aware of the abused and abased earth below the pavement, walking on the grass, watching the flight of birds, or finding the first spring dandelion are the rights as old and unalienable as the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We belong to no cult. We are not Nature Lovers. We don't love nature any more than we love breathing. Nature is simply something indispensable, like air and light and water, that we accept as necessary to living, and the nearer we can get to it the happier we are.

-- Louise Dickinson Rich (Author of We Took to the Woods)
On the path that leads to Nowhere I have sometimes found my Soul.

-- Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (Younger sister of President Theodore Roosevelt)
At first, the people talking about ecology were only defending the fishes, the animals, the forest, and the river. They didn't realize that human beings were in the forest -- and that these human beings were the real ecologist, because they couldn't live without the forest and the forest couldn't be saved without them.

-- Osmarino Amancio Rodrigues (Amazonian rubber tapper)
(Forests are) the "lungs" of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.

-- Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd President of the United States)
Forestry is the preservation of forests by wise use.

-- Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of United States, provided federal protection for almost 230 million acres of U.S. land)
Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.

-- Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of United States, provided federal protection for almost 230 million acres of U.S. land), 1903, title of novel
There is a delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.

-- Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of United States, provided federal protection for almost 230 million acres of U.S. land)
One might consider an ideal series of parks as you might a great water system, using the metaphor of green water in massive lakes emptying into larger reverse and small creeks, rushing narrowly over waterfalls and following placidly and broadly through the flat countryside in a continuous sequence of parklands. Then it curls around and through cities in man-determined forms, held back by reservoirs, channeled over aqueducts and finally rising -- as in Rome, in fountains, small ones in dusty corners and large, baroque ones in mighty plazas. Thus, the fields and trees of parks should be, as water, not scattered oases such as Yosemite, but a weaving, interconnected green mass that changes in size and purpose, but always inter-penetrates forcibly but gently the urban, suburban, and rural scene.

-- William M. Roth
A Californian who I had recently the pleasure of meeting observed that if the philosophers had lived among your mountains, their systems would have been different from what they are. Certainly very different from what those systems are which the European genteel tradition has handed down since Socrates; for these systems are egotistical; directly or indirectly they are anthropocentric, and inspired by the conceited notion the man, or human reason, or the human distinction between good and evil, is the center and pivot of the universe. That is what the mountains and the woods should make you at last ashamed to assert.

-- George Santayana (Philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist)
The preservationist is not an elitist who wants to exclude others, notwithstanding popular opinion to the contrary; he is a moralist who wants to convert them. He is concerned about what other people do in the parks not because he is unaware of the diversity of taste in the society, but because he views certain kinds of activity as calculated to undermine the attitudes he believes the park can, and should, encourage.

-- Joseph Sax
To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground.

-- Chief Seattle, 1855, upon surrendering his land to Governor Isaac Stevens
There is no quiet place in white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in the Spring or the rustle of an insect's wings.

-- Chief Seattle
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our childresn--that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself…


-- Chief Seattle
There’s a land where the mountains are nameless, And the rivers all run God knows where; There are lives that are erring and aimless, And deaths that just hang by a hair; There are hardships that nobody reckons; There’s a land - oh, it beckons and beckons, And I want to go back - and I will.

-- Robert Service (British-born poet.), from The Spell of the Yukon
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, things aren’t going to get better, they’re not!

-- Dr. Seuss (Children's book author), from The Lorax
, from the Onceler
O, mickle is a powerful grace that lies in herbs,
plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give.

-- William Shakespeare (English poet and playwrite), Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 3
The more civilized man becomes, the more he needs and craves a great background of forest wildness, to which he may return like a contrite prodigal from the husks of an artificial life.

-- Ellen Burns Sherman
The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.

-- Tanaka Shozo (Japanese environmental activist)
Beauty created by Nature is equal in value to, and to be accorded reverence equal to that of the beauty of music, art or poetry of man, and experts are available to testify as to degrees of natural beauty just as they are able to testify to the quality of mortals’ art.

-- David Sive
I settled at Cold Mountain long ago,
Already it seems like years and years.
Freely drifting, I prowl the woods and streams
And linger watching things themselves.
Men don't get this far into the mountains,
White clouds gather and billow.
Thin grass does for a mattress,
The blue sky makes a good quilt.
Happy with a stone under head,
Let heaven and earth go about their changes.

-- Gary Snyder (American poet and essayist), from Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems
Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.

-- Gary Snyder (American poet and essayist), from Practice of the Wild
In the blue night
frost haze, the sky glows
with the moon
pine tree tops
bend snow-blue, fade
into sky, frost, starlight,
the creak of boots,
rabbit tracks, deer tracks,
what do we know.

-- Gary Snyder (American poet and essayist), from Pine Tree Tops
Indifference to the aesthetic make will in the long run lessen the economic product... attention to the aesthetic will increase economic welfare.

-- Josiah Stamp (British economist)
The old Lakota was wise, He knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.

-- Luther Standing Bear (Native American author)
The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred Earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew into the air came to rest upon the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.

-- Luther Standing Bear (Native American author), from Land of the Spotted Eagle
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as "wild." Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness" and only to him was the land "infested" with "wild" animals and "savage" people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it "wild" for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the "Wild West" began.

-- Luther Standing Bear (Native American author)
We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.

-- Wallace Stegner (American writer, historian, and environmentalist), 1960, from a letter written to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission
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 clean 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 (American writer, historian, and environmentalist), 1960, from the "Wilderness Letter," written to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, 1960
How much wilderness do the wilderness-lovers want? ask those who would mine and dig and cut and dam in such sanctuary spots as these. The answer is easy: Enough so that there will be in the years ahead a little relief, a little quiet, a little relaxation, for any of our increasing millions who need and want it.

-- Wallace Stegner (American writer, historian, and environmentalist), 1955, from This Is Dinosaur
We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, we'll go to great effort to save what it might destroy.

-- Wallace Stegner (American writer, historian, and environmentalist)
I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shattering to foam again...

It was a prayer and comforting to wake in late and hear the undiminished shouting of the water in the night. And at sunup it was still there, powerful and incessant, with the slant sun tangled in its rainbow spray, the grass blue with the wetness, and the air heady as ether and scented with campfire smolder.

By such a river it is impossible to believe that one will ever be tired or old. Every sense applauds it. Taste it, feel its chill on the teeth: it is purity absolute. Watch its racing current, its steady renewal of force: it is transient and eternal. And listen again to its sounds: get far enough away so that the noise of falling tons of water does not stun the ears, and hear how much is going on underneath -- a whole symphony of smaller sounds, hiss and splash and gurgle, the small talk of side channels, the whisper of blown and scattered spray gathering itself and beginning to flow again, secret and irresistible, among the wet rocks.


-- Wallace Stegner (American writer, historian, and environmentalist)
The landscapes or like a violin bow that played upon my soul.

-- Stendhal (French writer, author of "Le Rouge et le Noir")
There’s no music like a little river’s ... It takes the mind out of doors ... and... sir, it quiets a man down like saying his prayers.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer), from Prince Otto
People need a model. If they can see a place become beautiful, they're inspired to act.

-- Marion Stoddart (Founder of the Nashua River Watershed Association, a group dedicated to the restoration of the Nashua River in Massachusetts)
(The essence of what) we call America lies not so much in political institutions as in its rocks and skies and seas.

-- Paul Strand (Photographer and filmmaker)
As we traversed the seemingly endless jumble, we became aware of a sensation new to us: at a time and in a part of the world where opportunity to do so was rapidly vanishing, we knew that this was the way it felt to be pioneers, bound for a land so little visited that it was as if no man had come this way before.

-- Phoebe Anne Sumner
Once in a while you find a place on earth that becomes your very own. A place undefined. Waiting for you to bring your color, your self. A place untouched, unspoiled, undeveloped. Raw, honest, and haunting. No one, nothing is telling you how to feel or who to be. Let the mountains have you for a day…

-- Sundance
Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.

-- Albert Szent-Goygyi
In the mountain, stillness surges up to explore its own height; In the lake, movement stands still to contemplate its own depth.

-- Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali poet, novelist, playwright and composer)
For a great tree death comes as a gradual transformation. Its vitality ebbs slowly. Even when life has abandoned it entirely it remains a majestic thing. On some hilltop a dead tree may dominate the landscape for miles around. Alone among living things it retains its character and dignity after death. Plans wither; animals disintegrates. But a dead tree may be as arresting, as filled with personality, in death as it is in life. Even in its final moments, when the massive trunk lies prone and it has moldering into a ridge covered with mosses and fungi, it arrives at a fitting and noble end. It enriches and refreshes the earth. And later, as part of other green and growing things, it rises again.

-- Edwin Way Teale (American naturalist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Wandering Through Winter")
As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned watchers of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas," or, "They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them."

-- U Thant (Burmese diplomat and the 3rd Secretary-General of the United Nations)
In wildness is the preservation of the world.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist), from Walking
To preserve wild animals implies generally the creation of a forest for them to dwell in or resort to.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist), from Walking
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist), 1854, from Walden or Life in the Woods
When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and the most interminable, and to the citizen, most dismal swamp. I enter the swamp as a sacred place--a sanctum sanctorum.there is the strength, the marrow of Nature.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist)
Thank God, they cannot cut down the clouds!

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist)
The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not, within the scope of mind science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist)
If we were required to know the position of the fruit dots or the character of the endusium, nothing could be easier to ascertain, but if it is required that you be affected by ferns, that they amount to anything, signify anything to you, that they be another sacred scripture and revelation to you, help to redeem your life, this end is not so easily accomplished.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist)
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.

-- Henry David Thoreau (American writer and naturalist)
All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien (English writer), from Lord of the Rings
And this, our life exempt from public haunts, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien (English writer)
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien (English writer)
Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren land; long heath, browh furze, any thing.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien (English writer)
(Plants should be regarded as) jewels in the devalued currency of our world environment.

-- Uberto Tosco (Author of "The Flowering Wilderness")
It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs, looking up at stars, and we didn't even feel like talking aloud.

-- Mark Twain (American writer), 1884, from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The still mind of the sage is a mirror of heaven and earth…

-- Chaung Tzu (Taoist pantheist)
In terms of wilderness preservation, Alaska is the last frontier. This time, given one great final chance, let us strive to do it right. Not in our generation, nor ever again, will we have a land and wildlife opportunity approaching the scope and importance of this one.

-- Morris Udall (U.S. Representative from Arizona), 1988, from Too Funny to be President
, on the Alaska Lands Bill
This is the single most important land-use decision in the lifetime of most of the people in this room. In terms of acreage involved, there's nothing that compares with it. No other single conservation decision in history is of its magnitude, except the action of President Theodore Roosevelt in establishing the national forests at a time when they were seriously threatened.

-- Morris Udall (U.S. Representative from Arizona), 1978, on the Alaska Lands Bill
I've been through legislation creating a dozen national parks, and there's always the same pattern. When you first propose a park, and you visit the area and present the case to the local people, they threaten to hang you. You go back in five years and they think it's the greatest thing that ever happened.

-- Morris Udall (U.S. Representative from Arizona), 1988, from Too Funny to be President
A land ethic for tomorrow should be as honest as Thoreau's Walden, and as comprehensive as the sensitive science of ecology. It should stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life. If, in our haste to "progress," the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the results will be an ugly America.

-- Stewart Udall (Arizona cabinet member)
Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.

-- Stewart Udall (Arizona cabinet member)
The one overriding principle of the conservation movement is that no work of man (save the bare minimum of roads, trails, and necessary public facilities in access areas) should intrude into the wonderful places of the National Park System.

-- Stewart Udall (Arizona cabinet member)
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

-- Unknown, Haida Indian Saying
Then here's a hail to each flaming dawn And here's a cheer to the night that's gone And may I go a roaming on -- until the day I die

-- Unknown, on a grave marker in the Adirondacks
Many years ago, I climbed the mountains, even though it is forbidden. Things are not as they teach us; the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky.

-- Unknown, from Star Trek episode
Old-growth forests remind me of an old folks home, just waiting to die.

-- Unknown, from Anonymous Reagan Administration Official
Natural beauty and wonder are priceless heirlooms which God has bestowed upon our nation. How shall we escape the contempt of the coming generation if we suffer this irreplaceable heritage to be wasted?

-- Henry Van Dyke (American author, educator and clergyman)
Trees give peace to the souls of men.

-- Nora Waln (American writer)
Mosquitos at dawn
waiting outside the net
for donors.

-- Jeffrey Weise (wilderness manager)
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on -- have found that none of these satisfy, or permanently wear -- what remains? Nature remains.

-- Walt Whitman (American poet and essayist), 1892, From "Specimen Days"
Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.

-- Walt Whitman (American poet and essayist), from Leaves of Grass
I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self-contained.

-- Walt Whitman (American poet and essayist)
Unseen buds, infinite, hidden well,
Under the snow and ice, under the darkness, in every square or cubic inch,
Germinal, exquisite, in delicate lace, microscopic, unborn,
Like babies in wombs, latent, folded, compact, sleeping;
Billions of billions, and trillions of trillions of them waiting,
(On earth and in the sea -- the universe -- the stars there in the heavens.)
Urging slowly, surely forward, forming endless,
And waiting ever more, forever more behind.

-- Walt Whitman (American poet and essayist)
A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.

-- Wilderness Act of 1964
If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go. We are talking about the body of the beloved, not real estate.

-- Terry Tempest Williams (American nature writer)
Come forth into the light of things. Let Nature be your teacher.

-- William Wordsworth (English romantic poet)
For I have learned
To look on the nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense of sublime
Of something far more deeply infused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the minds of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All living things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods
And mountains, and of all that we behold
From this green earth, of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear -- both what they half create,
And what they perceive, will be pleased to recognize
In nature and the Language of the sense
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul
Of all my moral being.

-- William Wordsworth (English romantic poet)
I believe that at least in the present phase of our civilization we have a profound, a fundamental need for areas of wilderness - a need that is not only recreational and spiritual but also educational and scientific, and withal essential to a true understanding of ourselves, our culture, own own natures, and our place in all nature.

This need is for areas of the earth within which we stand without our mechanisms that make us immediate masters over our environment - areas of wild nature in which we sense ourselves to be, what in fact I believe we are, dependent members of an interdependent community of living creatures that together derive their existence from the Sun.

By very definition this wilderness is a need. The idea of wilderness as an area without man's influence is man's own concept. Its values are human values. Its preservation is a purpose that arises out of man's own sense of his fundamental needs.


-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from The Need for Wilderness Areas
It is not long since man thought of himself as the center of the universe, thought even of the Sun - the very source of all our life - as a light by day revolving about the Earth. As our new understanding has come - through science - science also has brought us many other new and wonderful discoveries, and the new knowledge of what we are has been overlooked by many of us in our eagerness for the new knowledge of what we can do. We have become as proud over what we can do as ever our ancestors could have been over themselves as the center of the universe.

We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gagets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize one’s littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility.

Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs.


-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from The Need for Wilderness Areas
The wilderness that has come to us from the eternity of the past we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future.

-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from The Need for Wilderness Areas
We are part of the wilderness of the universe. Some of us think we see this so clearly that for ourselves, for our childres, our continuing posterity, and our fellow men we covet with a consuming intensity the fullness of human development that keeps its contact with wildness.

-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from How Much Can We Afford to Lose?, in Wildlands in Our Civilization (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1964): 51. This address was also printed in the Sierra Club Bullitin (April 1951)
Let's try to be done with a wilderness preservation program made up of a sequence of overlapping emergencies, threats and defense campaigns! Let's make a conserted effort for a positive program that will establish an enduring system of areas where we can be at peace and not forever feel that the wilderness is a battleground.

-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from How Much Can We Afford to Lose?, in Wildlands in Our Civilization (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1964): 51. This address was also printed in the Sierra Club Bullitin (April 1951)
Working to preserve in perpetuity is a great inspiration.

We are not fighting a rear-guard action, we are facing a frontier.

We are not slowing down a force that inevitably will destroy all the wilderness there is. We are generating another force, never to be wholly spent, that, renewed generation after generation, will be always effective in preserving wilderness.

We are not fighting progress. We are making it.

We are not dealing with a vanishing wilderness.

We are working for a wilderness forever.


-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from Wilderness Forever, version in William Schwartz, editor, Voices for the Wilderness (New York: Ballantine Books, 1969): 106
With the enactment of this measure we shall cease to be in any sense a rearguard delaying 'inevitable' destruction of all wilderness, but shall become a new vanguard with reasonable hopes that some areas of wilderness will be preserved in perpetuity.

-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act), from testimony in 1963 to the U.S. Senate
I believe we have a profound fundamental need for areas of the earth where we stand without our mechanisms that make us immediate masters over our environment.

-- Howard Zahniser (Author of the Wilderness Act)
He who has known how to love the land has loved eternity.

-- Stefan Zeromski (Polish novelist)