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.— Aldo Leopold
The most unconventional Aldo Leopold quotes that will add value to your life
Land is not merely soil, it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.
There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?
There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil is more stable than one rooted in pavements.
There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm.
One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.
The first law of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts
A river or stream is a cycle of energy from sun to plants to insects to fish.
It is a continuum broken only by humans.
Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals.
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.
To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste;
to others, the most valuable part.
That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend;
you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm. The land is one organism.
Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.
There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.
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.
Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree - and there will be one.
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
Once you learn to read the land, I have no fear of what you will do to it, or with it. And I know many pleasant things it will do to you.
Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty.
It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.
One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring.
We face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free.
All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. . . The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.
When some remote ancestor of ours invented the shovel, he became a giver: He could plant a tree. And when the axe was invented, he became a taker: He could chop it down. Whoever owns land has thus assumed, whether he knows it or not, the divine functions of creating and destroying plants.
But wherever the truth may lie, this much is crystal-clear: our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. . . . Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings.
Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.
Individual thinkers since the days of Ezekiel and Isaiah have asserted that the despoliation of land is not only inexpedient but wrong. Society, however, has not yet affirmed their belief.
It must be poor life that achieves freedom from fear.
On motionless wing they emerge from the lifting mists, sweep a final arc of sky, and settle in clangorous descending spirals to their feeding grounds. A new day has begun on the crane marsh.
There are two things that interest me: the relation of people to each other, and the relation of people to land.
In that year  John Muir offered to buy from his brother .
.. a sanctuary for the wildflowers that had gladdened his youth. His brother declined to part with the land, but he could not suppress the idea: 1865 still stands in Wisconsin history as the birth-year of mercy for things natural, wild, and free.
Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever, and the general level of his ecological education.
Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization.
Every region should retain representative samples of its original or wilderness condition, to serve science as a sample of normality. Just as doctors must study healthy people to understand disease, so must the land sciences study the wilderness to understand disorders of the land-mechanism.
Conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest.
What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and by cautious experimentation to prove how it works. What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?
The road to conservation is paved with good intentions that often prove futile, or even dangerous, due to a lack of understanding of either land or economic land use.
In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.
No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.
Recreational development is a job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.
Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.
How would you like to have a thousand brilliantly colored cliff swallows keeping house in the eaves of your barn, and gobbling up insects over your farm at the rate of 100,000 per day? There are many Wisconsin farmsteads where such a swallow-show is a distinct possibility.
Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal.
It is, by common consent, a good thing for people to get back to nature.
For us in the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.
The wind that makes music in November corn is in a hurry.
The stalks hum, the loose husks whisk skyward in half-playing swirls, and the wind hurries on.... A tree tries to argue, bare limbs waving, but there is no detaining the wind.
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel.
The real jewel of my disease-ridden woodlot is the prothonotary warbler.
... The flash of his gold-and-blue plumage amid the dank decay of the June woods is in itself proof that dead trees are transmuted into living animals, and vice versa.
A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct