This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks...Stand like Druids of old.
Natural species are the library from which genetic engineers can work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown; for going out, I found, was really going in.
I . . . am always glad to touch the living rock again and dip my hand in the high mountain air.
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom on the mountaineerÖ 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 planetís resources as possible.
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.
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.
The value of biodiversity is more than the sum of its parts.
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.
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