Quotes About Wilderness

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But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – Desert Solitaire (1968) “Down the River”, p. 147.

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – Desert Solitaire (1968) “Down the River”, p. 148.

The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – The Journey Home (1991) “Shadows from the Big Woods”, p. 223.

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – Quoted in Readers Digest, Jan. 1970

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 (1895-1975) -“This we hold Dear,” American Forests, July 1963

There is a spiritual value to conservation, and wilderness typifies this. Wilderness is a demonstration by our people that we can put aside a portion of this which we have as a tribute to the Maker and say–this we will leave as we found it.
Senator Clinton P. Anderson (1895-1975) -“This we hold Dear,” American Forests, July 1963

For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.
Janine M Benyus (1958 – ) – Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Harper Collins, NY, NY, 1997, Chapter 8.

The reason to preserve wilderness is that we need it. We need wilderness of all kinds, large and small, public and private. Wee need to go now and again into places where our work is disallowed, where our hopes and plans have no standing. We need to come into the presence of the unqualified and mysterious formality of Creation.
Wendell Berry – “Preserving Wilderness,” Home Economics (1987)

There are endless ways to amuse oneself and be idle, and most of them lie outside the woods. I assume that when a man goes to the woods he goes because he needs to. I think he is drawn to the wilderness much as he is drawn to a woman: it is, in its way, his opposite. It is as far as possible unlike his home or his work or anything he will ever manufacture. For that reason he can take from it a solace—an understanding of himself, of what he needs and what he can do without—such as he can find nowhere else.
Wendell Berry (1934 – ) The Unforseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River George, University Press of Kentucky, 1971

Going to the woods and the wild places has little to do with recreation, and much to do with creation. For the wilderness is the creation in its pure state, its processes unqualified by the doings of people. A man in the woods comes face to face with the creation, of which he must begin to see himself a part—a much less imposing part than he thought. And seeing that the creation survives all wishful preconceptions about it, that it includes him only upon its own sovereign terms, that he is not free except in his proper place in it, then he may begin, perhaps, to take a hand in the creation of himself.
Wendell Berry (1934 – ) The Unforseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River George, University Press of Kentucky, 1971

As long as we insist on relating to it strictly on our own terms—as strange to us or subject to us—the wilderness is alien, threatening, fearful.
Wendell Berry (1934 – ) The Unforseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River George, University Press of Kentucky, 1971

As long as we insist on relating to it strictly on our own terms—as strange to us or subject to us—the wilderness is alien, threatening, fearful. We have no choice then but to become its exploiters, and to lose, by consequence, our place in it. It is only when, by humility, openness, generosity, courage, we make ourselves able to relate to it on its terms that it ceases to be alien.
Wendell Berry (1934 – ) The Unforseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River George, University Press of Kentucky, 1971

Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.

Britain won its wars on the playing fields of Eton. America developed its mettle at the muddy gaps of the Cumberlands, in the swift rapids of its rivers, on the limitless reaches of its western plains, in the silent vastness of primeval forests, and in the blizzard-ridden passes of the Rockies and Coast ranges.

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. These are islands in time — with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.
Harvey Broome – co founder, The Wilderness Society, Quoted  on the Wilderness Society Web page, Famous Wilderness Quotes. https://www.wilderness.org/articles/article/famous-wilderness-quotes

To me, a wilderness is where the flow of wildness is essentially uninterrupted by technology; without wilderness the world is a cage.
David Brower – Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Those who Would Save the Earth (ed. New Society Pub, 2000)

If we are to have broad-thinking men and women of high mentality, of good physique and with a true perspective on life, we must allow our populace a communion with nature in areas of more or less wilderness condition.
Arthur Carhart (U.S. Forest Service official and pioneer in wilderness preservation movement) Quoted  on the Wilderness Society Web page, Famous Wilderness Quotes. https://www.wilderness.org/articles/article/famous-wilderness-quotes

I held a blue flower in my hand, probably a wild aster, wondering what its name was, and then thought that human names for natural things are superfluous. Nature herself does not name them. The important thing is to know this flower, look at its color until the blends becomes as real as a keynote of music. Look at the exquisite yellow flowerettes at the center, become very small with them. Be the flower, be the trees, the blowing grasses. Fly with the birds, jump with a squirrel!
Sally CarrigharHome to the Wilderness, 1974

The great purpose is to set aside a reasonable part of the vanishing wilderness, to make certain that generations of Americans yet unborn will know what it is to experience life on undeveloped, unoccupied land in the same form and character as the Creator fashioned it… It is a great spiritual experience. I never knew a man who took a bedroll into an Idaho mountainside and slept there under a star-studded summer sky who felt self-important that next morning. Unless we preserve some opportunity for future generations to have the same experience, we shall have dishonored our trust.
Senator Frank Church (1957-1981) Endangered American Wilderness Act of 1977: Hearings Before the Subcommittee …

 

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