Wilderness, or wildness, is a mystique. A religion, an intense philosophy, a dream of ideal society - these are also mystiques. We are not engaged in preserving so many acre-feet of water, so many board-feet of timber, so many billion tons of granite, so many profit possibilities in so many ways for those concerned with the material aspects of the world. Yet, we must accept the fact that human life (at least in the metabolic sense) depends upon the resources of the Earth. As the fisherman depends upon the rivers, lakes and seas, and the farmer upon the land for his existence, so does mankind in general depend upon the beauty of the world about for his spiritual and emotional existence.
- Ansel Adams, From a speech to the Wilderness Society, May 9, 1980