Quotes

Wilderness Quotes
Quotes used to explain the mystery, beauty, power and vulnerability of the wilderness

James Neill
Last updated:
17 Oct 2005

 

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
- Greek Proverb

The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives.
- Chinese Proverb

I have argued in this book that we are human in good part because of the particular way we affiliate with other organisms.  They are the matrix in which the human mind originated and is permanently rooted, and they offer the challenge and freedom innately sought.  To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained.  I offer this as a formula of reenchantment to invigorate poetry and myth: mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit.  Splendor awaits in minute proportions.
  Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984, p. 139

 

All good things are wild and free.
- Henry David Thoreau

 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
- Rachel Carson

 

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
- Henry David Thoreau

 

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then you will find out that money cannot be eaten
- Cree Indian Prophecy

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.
- Mohandas Gandhi

Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe. Even the rocks, which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore in solemn grandeur thrill with memories of past events connected with the fate of my people, the very dust under your feet responds more lovingly to our footsteps than to yours, because it is the ashes of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch, for the soil is rich with the life of our kindred.
- Chief Seattle

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clean air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free from noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it.

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

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