65 Aldo Leopold Quotes For Success In Life

Aldo Leopold was an American author, philosopher, naturalist, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which has sold more than two million copies. These Aldo Leopold quotes will inspire you.

Best Aldo Leopold Quotes

  1. “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
  2. “In wildness is the salvation of the world.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  3. “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.” ~ Aldo Leopold, Aldo Leopold quotes on ethical behavior
  4. “The oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  5. “Land is not merely soil, it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  6. “This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all. On a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rimrocks, sit quietly and listen, and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it – a vast pulsing harmony – its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  7. “There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil is more stable than
    one rooted in pavements.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  8. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  9. “That the situation appears hopeless should not prevent us from doing our best.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  10. “The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy – it is already too late for that – but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance.” ~ Aldo Leopold Quotes
  11. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  12. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  13. “Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  14. “It is, by common consent, a good thing for people to get back to nature.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  15. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  16. “My favorite quote: The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land. In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  17. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold, Aldo Leopold quotes on thing is right
  18. “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  19. “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  20. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  21. “I have read many definitions of what is a conservationist, and written not a few myself, but I suspect that the best one is written not with a pen, but with an axe. It is a matter of what a man thinks about while chopping, or while deciding what to chop. A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  22. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold Quotes
  23. “Conservation viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and land.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  24. “The first law of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts” ~ Aldo Leopold

  25. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  26. “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  27. “Our tools are better than we are, and grow better 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
  28. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  29. “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  30. “Conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  31. “We face the question whether a still higher “standard of living” is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  32. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  33. “We can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  34. “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
  35. “Six days shalt thou paddle and pack, but on the seventh thou shall wash thy socks.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  36. “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
  37. “No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all the salient facts about any one of them.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  38. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  39. “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  40. “Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  41. “A land ethic…reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land. Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort
    to understand and preserve this capacity.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  42. “Your woodlot is, in fact, a historical document which faithfully records your personal philosophy.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  43. “Is education possibly a process of trading awareness for things of lesser worth? The goose who trades his is soon a pile of feathers.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  44. “At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  45. “It must be poor life that achieves freedom from fear.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  46. “One of the anomalies of modern ecology is the creation of two groups, each of which seems barely aware of the existence of the other. The one studies the human community, almost as if it were a separate entity, and calls its findings sociology, economics, and history. The other studies the plant and animal community and comfortably relegates the hodge-podge of politics to the liberal arts. The inevitable fusion of these two lines of thought will, perhaps, constitute the outstanding advance of this century.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  47. “Ideas, like men, can become dictators. We Americans have so far escaped regimentation by our rulers, but have we escaped regimentation by our own ideas? I doubt if there exists today a more complete regimentation of the human mind than that accomplished by our self-imposed doctrine of ruthless utilitarianism.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  48. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  49. “Then came the gadgeteer, otherwise known as the sporting-goods dealer. He has draped the American outdoorsman with an infinity of contraptions, all offered as aids to self-reliance, hardihood, woodcraft, or marksmanship, but too often functioning as substitutes for them. Gadgets fill the pockets, they dangle from neck and belt. The overflow fills the auto-trunk and also the trailer. Each item of outdoor equipment grows lighter and often better, but the aggregate poundage becomes tonnage.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  50. “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  51. “Science contributes moral as well as material blessings to the world. Its great moral contribution is objectivity, or the scientific point of view. This means doubting everything except facts; it means hewing to the facts, let the chips fall where they may.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  52. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  53. “Our children are our signature to the roster of history; our land is merely the place our money was made. There is as yet no social stigma in the possession of a gullied farm, a wrecked forest, or a polluted stream, provided the dividends suffice to send the youngsters to college. Whatever ails the land, the government will fix it.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  54. “Our remnants of wilderness will yield bigger values to the nation’s character and health than they will to its pocketbook, and to destroy them will be to admit that the latter are the only values that interest us.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  55. “Our remnants of wilderness will yield bigger values to the nation’s character and health than they will to its pocketbook, and to destroy them will be to admit that the latter are the only values that interest us.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  56. “An Ecologist lives in a world of wounds.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  57. “He who hopes for spring with upturned eye never sees so small a thing as Draba. He who despairs of spring with downcast eye steps on it, unknowing. He who searches for spring with his knees in the mud finds it, in abundance.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  58. “In that year [1865] 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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  59. “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may see it with love and respect. – Perhaps such a shift of values can be achieved by reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild, and free.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  60. “Teach the student to see the land, understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands.” ~ Aldo Leopold

  61. “Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization. Wilderness was never a homogenous raw material. It was very diverse. The differences in the product are known as cultures. The rich diversity of the worlds cultures reflects a corresponding diversity. In the wilds that gave them birth.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  62. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  63. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  64. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold
  65. “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.” ~ Aldo Leopold

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