Tom Bell quotes

  • Tom Bell

    Mike McClure photo
  "While I am a believer in the multiple-use principle, the concept of conservation, and an ecological approach to resource use, I find myself reacting to those who disregard any or all of these. And so I strike back. To the public, it would appear I am completely and diametrically opposed to all progress, to all resource use, and to the efforts of the great industries to supply us with the goods we need.


"That, of course, is not true. I am not alone in believing you can dig iron or coal or uranium from the ground and when you are finished you can use part of your profits to restore the surface. You can timber if you are willing to recognize other values, leave some trees standing, and use the most refined methods to remove timber without destroying a forest. You can produce power or reduce ores without destroying the surrounding environment. You can produce food without resorting completely to poisonous, persistent chemicals.


"Any industry that does not recognize this now will have to do so sooner or later. For what conservationists have said from the beginning of conservation is that this world, and all its treasures, is finite. Treat it right and you will live. Squander and plunder and rape and you will someday suffer."


           -- Tom Bell, HCN March 13, 1970


"The environmentalists say we have a tremendous task to do. We must completely reorient the thinking of a capitalist nation; industry and the individual stockholders must expect a lower profit margin; the consumer must expect to pay higher prices; all must pay higher taxes; all must go back to a simpler, less affluent standard of living. How many people will be willing to do this short of imminent destruction is debatable. In the meantime, the ecological time bomb ticks mercilessly on ...


"As I write, three frail human beings ride a damaged spacecraft on an odyssey of peril. Our prayers are with them for we sense their danger. But well might our prayers be also for the passengers who ride the damaged spacecraft Earth. Their danger hangs over them hour by hour. Ours is less imminent but just as real."


          -- Tom Bell, HCN April 17, 1970 (Earth Day issue)


"People are looking to the West and our great, wide-open spaces. It is here that vast areas of public land offer the hope for diverse, meaningful escape from the maddening crowd. They will come as surely as the lemmings go to the sea.


"It is sheer madness to let the situation engulf us. We must plan quickly and diligently. Without planning, we face another type of environmental degradation and destruction. It could be as disastrous as that which has befallen the inner city."


           -- Tom Bell, HCN Sept. 11, 1970


"I don't know how I would have fared in this world had I not had the great outdoors in which to roam, seek solace, heal sensitive feelings and begin to grope my way toward adulthood. I grieve that all young people cannot experience the lessons the Good Lord can teach under His blue canopy, beside some soothing brook.


"My lot has been cast with the simple wonders of the world. You cannot buy the light flashing from a rainbow's side in limpid waters. There is no price on the hoot of an owl from dusky woods at eventide. You can only experience a coyote by hearing his howl.


"My own son can experience these things. But how about my grandsons? Will the world become so crowded that they, or their grandsons, be deprived of fulfilling experiences? How can our affluent, burgeoning society continue on its way without destroying values which cannot be bought in the marketplace?


"I suppose it's these apprehensions which motivate my waking moments. I would have it no other way. But I wish I could assure myself, and them."


           -- Tom Bell, HCN Aug. 28, 1970
High Country News Classifieds
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE: NEAR CHRICAHUA NATIONAL PARK
    2 (20 acre sites): 110 miles from Tucson:AZ Native trees: Birder's heaven: dark skies: Creek: borders State lease & National forest: /13-16 inches of rain...
  • DIRECTOR - SONORAN DESERT INN & CONFERENCE CENTER
    The Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center is a non-profit lodging and event venue in Ajo, Arizona, located on the historic Curley School Campus. We...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field Seminars for adults: cultural and natural history of the Colorado Plateau. With guest experts, local insights, small groups, and lodge or base camp formats....
  • PLANNED GIVING OFFICER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks a Planned Giving Officer. Do you find energy in...
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    The Methow Valley Citizens Council has a distinguished history of advocating for progressive land use and environmental values in the Methow Valley and Okanogan County...
  • ACTING INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS DESK EDITOR
    High Country News is seeking an Acting Indigenous Affairs Editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk while our editor is on...
  • GRANTS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Cinnabar Foundation seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented and knowledgeable Grants Program Director to work from their home in Montana. Established in 1983, the Cinnabar Foundation...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Artemis Program Manager will work with National Wildlife Federation sporting and public lands staff to change this dynamic, continue to build upon our successful...
  • ALASKA SEA KAYAK BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Well-known and successful sea kayak, raft, hike, camp guiding & water taxi service. Sale includes everything needed to run the business, including office & gear...
  • MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS PROGRAM COORDINATOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a detail-oriented and enthusiastic Membership and Events Coordinator to join our small, but mighty-fun team to oversee our membership...
  • PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FACILITATOR
    ABOUT THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM Since opening in 1982, HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, culture, art and natural resources to promote an understanding...
  • LAND STEWARD, ARAVAIPA
    Steward will live on-site in housing provided by TNC and maintains preserve areas frequented by the visiting public and performs land management activities. The Land...
  • DEVELOPMENT WRITER
    Who We Are: The Nature Conservancy's mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create...
  • CONNECTIVITY SCIENCE COORDINATOR
    Position type: Full time, exempt Location: Bozeman preferred; remote negotiable Compensation: $48,000 - $52,000 Benefits: Major medical insurance, up to 5% match on a 401k,...
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
    ArenaLife is looking for an Executive Assistant who wants to work in a fast-paced, exciting, and growing organization. We are looking for someone to support...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Driggs, ID based non-profit. Full time. Full job description available at tvtap.org. Submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]
  • ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION GEOPHYSICS
    - We find groundwater, buried debris and assist with new construction projects for a fraction of drilling costs.
  • SPRING MOUNTAINS SOLAR OFF GRID MOUNTAIN HOME
    Located 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada in the pine forest of Lee Canyon at 8000 feet elevation. One of a kind property surrounded...
  • MAJOR GIFTS MANAGER - MOUNTAIN WEST, THE CONSERVATION FUND
    Cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of 75-125 donors.
  • NATURE'S BEST IN ARAVAIPA CANYON
    10 acre private oasis in one of Arizona's beautiful canyons. Fully furnished, 2123 sq ft architectural custom-built contemporary home with spectacular views and many extras....