Quotes

The wilderness that has come to us out of the eternity of the past, we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future.
– Howard Zahniser

The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.
– Nancy Newhall

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.
– Edward Abbey

The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, 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 the eyes to see.
– Edward Abbey

I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?
– Aldo Leopold

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
– Wallace Stegner

In wildness is the preservation of the world.
– Henry David Thoreau

Take away wilderness and you take away the opportunity to be American.
– Roderick Nash

If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
– President Lyndon B. Johnson

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?
– Margaret Murie

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

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.
– Charles Lindbergh

If you look throughout human history … the central epiphany of every religious tradition always occurs in the wilderness.
– Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
– John Muir

Our tools are better than we are, and grow faster than we do. They suffice to crack the atom, to command the tides. But they do not suffice for the oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.
– Aldo Leopold

There must be limits, somewhere, to the human footprint on this earth. When the whole of the world is reduced to nothing but human product, we will have lost the map that can show us how we got here, and can offer our spirits an answer when we ask why. Surely we are capable of declaring sacred some quarters that we dare not enter or possess.
– Barbara Kingsolver

Some things may be profitably broken up and sold for the materials in them; others are better left intact. Would the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. be more useful in the form of kindling? Ought Congress to sell the Lincoln Memorial to a rock crushing concern, or the paintings in the National Gallery to a rag collector?… The remaining bits of American wilderness also constitute a great national treasure, but if Congress permits them to be destroyed, they, like Humpty-Dumpty, can never be put back together again.
– Connie Harvey

The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.
– Terry Tempest Williams

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.
– John Ruskin

To countless people the wilderness provides the ultimate delight because it combines the thrills of jeopardy and beauty. It is the last stand for that glorious adventure into the physically unknown that was commonplace in the lives of our ancestors and has always constituted a major factor in the happiness of many exploratory souls.
– Bob Marshall

Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow. Invasions can be arrested or modified in a manner to keep an area usable either for recreation, science or for wildlife, but the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible. It follows, then, that any wilderness program is a rearguard action, through which retreats are reduced to a minimum.
– Aldo Leopold

We’re not so poor that we have to spend our wilderness or so rich that we can afford to.
– Newton Drury