Wilderness Quotes

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

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†

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†

To the lost man, to the pioneer penetrating a new country, to the naturalist who wishes to see the wild land at its wildest, the advice is always the same -- follow a river. The river is the original forest highway. It is nature's own Wilderness Road

Edwin Way Teale

Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man

Stewart Udall

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade, Where rumour of oppression and deceit, Of unsuccessful or successful war, Might never reach me more.

William Cowper

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.

Henry David Thoreau

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.

Jack Kerouac

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream

T.K. Whipple

But what pleasure it is to know that there is back county for them to retreat to, that nobody is going to push roads through that wilderness, that no RVs or trail bikes or tote goats will roar through those forests and stink up that clean air. The best thing we have learned from nearly five hundred years of contact with the American wilderness is restraint, the willingness to hold our hand: to visit such places for our souls' good, but leave no tracks.

Wallace Stegner

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed. We need wilderness preserved - as much of it as still left, and as many kinds - because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there - important, that is, simply as an idea.

Wallace Stegner

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 from noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it. 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

We of America are especially fitted to visualize and to understand the marvelous transformation of a wilderness into a land of splendid cities.

James H. Breasted

To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.


They can see the brave silhouette from almost anywhere in the District of Columbia and use it as a compass to locate other monuments and eventually to find their way out of the great, gray federal wilderness.

Hugh Sidey
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