From John Muir...
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
"Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Here grow the wallflower and the violet. The squirrel will come and sit upon your knee, the lockcock will wake you in the morning. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill. Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains."
"How many mouths Nature has to fill, how many neighbors we have, how little we know about them and how seldom we get in each other's way!"
From Aldo Leopold...
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
"Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech."
From Henry David Thoreau...
"It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find in the wilds of Labrador and greater wildness than in some recess of Concord, i.e., than I import into it."
"Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it."
"Wildness is the preservation of the World."
"Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps."
From Janet Kauffman...
"After all, this is a world of rock and water and air. It is elemental. It is not ours."
"With our technologies--ones of incalcuable power: earth-restoring, planet preserving--we can rediscover an intimacy, a mutuality with the natural world, that is not primitive (though based in part on fear), but knowing. It might even be possible to relearn a life of awe. And inhabit the landscape without violation. With the least violation."
From Wallace Stenger...
"Wildness can be a way of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope."
From Thomas Cole...
"It was not that the jagged precipices were lofty, that the encircling woods were the dimmest shade, or that the waters were profoundly deep; but that over all, rocks, wood, and water, brooded the spirit of repose, and the silent energy of nature stirred the soul to its inmost depths."
From John James Audubon...
on the Passenger Pigeon: "Persons unaquainted with these birds might naturally conclude that such dreadful havock would soon put an end to the species. But I have satisfied myself, by long observation, that nothing but the gradual diminution of our forests can accomplish their decrease."
From Ralph Waldo Emerson...
"To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood."
"In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows."
"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit."
From Charles Southwick...
"Our moral and ethical responsibility is to protect other species in the spirit of husbandry rather than destroy them in and attitude of conquest."
John Muir Quotations: more quotes from America's first conservationist
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