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.
The size of the parcel of land matters less than the relationship of the people to it.
The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best He ever planted.
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.
In God's wildness lies the hope of the world -- the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned how to ask.
[The public lands represent] in a sense, the breathing space of the nation.
All living creatures and all plants are a benefits to something.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since the land is the parent, let the citizens take care of her more carefully than children do their mother.
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.
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