Wilderness Quotes

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†

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†

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

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

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 undefined panoramas is absolutely essential to happiness.

Bob Marshall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep close to Nature's heart... 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

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

How to Overcome Your Fear of Success!

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Updated On : May 25, 2013
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