Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization.
Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow... the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Had it not been for the Atlantic Ocean and the virgin wilderness, theUnited States would never have been the Land of Promise.
I realize the answer is not to create wilderness and walk away.
In our own time it has been seen... that simple children, roughly brought up in the wilderness, have begun to draw by themselves, impelled by their own natural genius, instructed solely by the example of these beautiful paintings and sculptures of Nature.
On the mountains mistakes are fatal. In politics, mistakes are wounding emotionally, but you recover. Personally, wilderness helps me get back in touch with natural rhythms, helps me reflect and, in the process, restore my creativity.
One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
Simply put, I believe we should not seek the lowest common denominator when it comes to wilderness and saddle a wilderness designation with exceptions, exclusions, and exemptions.
The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
There is in every American, I think, something of the old Daniel Boone - who, when he could see the smoke from another chimney, felt himself too crowded and moved further out into the wilderness.
We all understand that compromise is part of the legislative process, yet at the same time, I would submit that wilderness is not for sale.
We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and intruded depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.
When it comes to wilderness animals we have to make an effort to preserve what areas we can that they can be themselves in. Its come to a point though, clearly, where some species have to be cared for by humans if they are not going to disappear altogether.
Wilderness designations should not be the result of a quid pro quo. They should rise or fall on their own merits.
Wilderness is not defined by the absence of certain activities, but rather by the presence of certain unique and invaluable characteristics.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity..."