Wilderness Quotes

The great sea stirs me. The great sea sets me a drift, it sways me like the weed on a river-stone. The sky's height stirs me. The strong wind blows through my mind. It carries me with it, so I shake with joy.

Uvavnuk

For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us who, in a city, are always aware of the abused and abased earth below the pavement, walking on the grass, watching the flight of birds, or finding the first spring dandelion are the rights as old and unalienable as the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We belong to no cult. We are not Nature Lovers. We don't love nature any more than we love breathing. Nature is simply something indispensable, like air and light and water, that we accept as necessary to living, and the nearer we can get to it the happier we are.

Louise Dickinson Richć

Forestry is the preservation of forests by wise use.

Theodore Roosevelt

One might consider an ideal series of parks as you might a great water system, using the metaphor of green water in massive lakes emptying into larger reverse and small creeks, rushing narrowly over waterfalls and following placidly and broadly through the flat countryside in a continuous sequence of parklands. Then it curls around and through cities in man-determined forms, held back by reservoirs, channeled over aqueducts and finally rising -- as in Rome, in fountains, small ones in dusty corners and large, baroque ones in mighty plazas. Thus, the fields and trees of parks should be, as water, not scattered oases such as Yosemite, but a weaving, interconnected green mass that changes in size and purpose, but always inter-penetrates forcibly but gently the urban, suburban, and rural scene.

William M. Roth

The preservationist is not an elitist who wants to exclude others, notwithstanding popular opinion to the contrary; he is a moralist who wants to convert them. He is concerned about what other people do in the parks not because he is unaware of the diversity of taste in the society, but because he views certain kinds of activity as calculated to undermine the attitudes he believes the park can, and should, encourage.

Joseph Sax

The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.

Tanaka Shozo

In the blue night frost haze, the sky glows with the moon pine tree tops bend snow-blue, fade into sky, frost, starlight, the creak of boots, rabbit tracks, deer tracks, what do we know.

Gary Snyder

The old Lakota was wise, He knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.

Luther Standing Bear

The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred Earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew into the air came to rest upon the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing

Luther Standing Bear

(The essence of what) we call America lies not so much in political institutions as in its rocks and skies and seas.

Paul Strand

In the mountain, stillness surges up to explore its own height; In the lake, movement stands still to contemplate its own depth.

Rabindranath Tagore

As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned watchers of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas," or, "They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them."

U Thant

The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not, within the scope of mind science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation.

Henry David Thoreau

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.

Henry David Thoreau

Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren land; long heath, broth furze, any thing.

J.R.R. Tolkien

(Plants should be regarded as) jewels in the devalued currency of our world environment.

Uberto Tosco

In terms of wilderness preservation, Alaska is the last frontier. This time, given one great final chance, let us strive to do it right. Not in our generation, nor ever again, will we have a land and wildlife opportunity approaching the scope and importance of this one.

Morris Udall

This is the single most important land-use decision in the lifetime of most of the people in this room. In terms of acreage involved, there's nothing that compares with it. No other single conservation decision in history is of its magnitude, except the action of President Theodore Roosevelt in establishing the national forests at a time when they were seriously threatened.

Morris Udall

Old-growth forests remind me of an old folkÝs home, just waiting to die.

From Anonymous Reagan Administration Official

Natural beauty and wonder are priceless heirlooms which God has bestowed upon our nation. How shall we escape the contempt of the coming generation if we suffer this irreplaceable heritage to be wasted?

Henry Van Dyke

Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Walt Whitman

Come forth into the light of things. Let Nature be your teacher.

William Wordsworth

For I have learned To look on the nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense of sublime Of something far more deeply infused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the minds of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels All living things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods And mountains, and of all that we behold From this green earth, of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear -- both what they half create, And what they perceive, will be pleased to recognize In nature and the Language of the sense The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul Of all my moral being.

William Wordsworth

It is not long since man thought of himself as the center of the universe, thought even of the Sun - the very source of all our life - as a light by day revolving about the Earth. As our new understanding has come - through science - science also has brought us many other new and wonderful discoveries, and the new knowledge of what we are has been overlooked by many of us in our eagerness for the new knowledge of what we can do. We have become as proud over what we can do as ever our ancestors could have been over themselves as the center of the universe. We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gagets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize oneÝs littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility. Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs.

Howard Zahniser

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Updated On : May 25, 2013
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