Glen Canyon Portfolio
Pg. 113, Print 48 Wall, Navaho sandstone
Medium: Lithograph on Kromkote paper
Currency: Pg. 113, Print 48. Wall, Navaho sandstone
… Do we not already sing our love for and obligations to the land of the free and the home of the brave? Yes, but just what and whom do we love? Certainly not the soil, which we are sending helter- skelter down river. Certainly not the rivers, which we assume have no function except to turn turbines, float barges, and carry off sewage. Certainly not the plants, of which we exterminate whole communities without batting an eye. Certainly not the animals of which we have already extirpated many of the largest and most beautiful species. A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these ‘resources,’ but it does confirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in spots, they’re continued existence in a natural state.
The disquieting thing in the modern picture is the trophy – hunter who never grows up, in whom the capacity for isolation, perception, and husbandry is undeveloped, or perhaps lost…..
To enjoy he must possess, invade, appropriate. Hence, the wilderness that he cannot personally see has no value to him. Hence, the universal assumption that an unusual hinterland is rendering no service to society. To those devoid of the imagination, a blank piece on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part. (In my share in Alaska worthless to me because I shall never go there? Do I need a road to show me the arctic prairies, the goose pastures of the Yukon, the Kodiak bear, the sheep mountains behind McKinley?)
It would appear in short that the rudimentary grades of outdoor recreation consume their resource – base; the higher grades, at least to a degree, create their own satisfactions with little or no attrition of land or life….. Recreation development is a job, not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.- Also Leopold