Aldo Leopold Quotes

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. 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. Aldo Leopold

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. Aldo Leopold

Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. Aldo Leopold

A thing is right only when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the community; and the community includes the soil, water, fauna and flora, as well as the people. Aldo Leopold

It is inconceivable to me that an ethical relation to land can exist without love, respect, and admiration for land, and a high regard for its value. By value, I of course mean something far broader than mere economic value; I mean value in the philosophical sense. Aldo Leopold

For us 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…We of the minority see a law of diminishing returns in progress; our opponents do not. Aldo Leopold

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, but He is no longer the only one to do so. 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. Aldo Leopold

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. Aldo Leopold

Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization. Aldo Leopold

Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow…the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible. Aldo Leopold

All conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish. Aldo Leopold