Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur


True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.

 Winston S. Churchill

Life can only be categorized so far. Some other miscellaneous things may be of interest:

Articles and Columns

Andy Kerr on Andy Kerrs is about encountering the at-least four other Andy Kerrs in Oregon and a like amount elsewhere. It's to my benefit, as when one occasionally gets death threats, it's nice to have others around with the same name around.

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy need not keep you out of the backcountry. Know your enemy and wash in alcohol.

Field Work Checklist is a list I've developed for outdoors excursions, be it car camping, backpacking or dayhiking. No list is perfect, but the most important thing with a checklist is to actually check the damn list.

A Tradition Isn't Always Worth Keeping is about the controversy at the Enterprise, Oregon High School mascot from the "Savage," which is offensive to Native Americans and to many others. It makes one wonder about one's neighbors.

Rolled On Columbia is a parody of the Woody Guthrie classic that every Pacific Northwest school child learned.

Dispatching the Deer is about encountering a mortally wounded doe.

So-Called 'War on the West' a Myth Far too many rural redneck locals believe that the black helicopters coming with Ethiopian troops who are going to take away our guns all are part of an urban conspiracy of tofu-eating Americans.

Urban Issues Also Get Attention of Environmentalists addresses a myth held by many in the rural West that for the most part believes that environmental protection is something foisted upon them by urbanites who don't live by the same standards. They are wrong.

If Costa Rica Can Do It, Surely So Can Oregon compares my state and this little Central American country of of similar land area. Though far poorer, Costa Rica has dedicated a far greater percentage of its lands to conservation.

Oft-Quoted 'Speech' of Chief Seattle a Myth but speaks a greater truth so that many quote it. He existed, but he didn't say any of those things. It's a Hollywood hoax. The sentiments are admirable and desirable, but he's not the authority.

Getting a Job in the Conservation Movement contains some advice, based on my personal experience and observations over the last 35 years.

Forbidden Words and Phrases

I once made a list of words and phrases I tried to avoid speaking/writing. I find of late that I'm using some of them I think to good affect. Other I still loathe. Here they are/were: A Done Deal, Balance, Ball Park, Bandwidth, Benchmark, Best Practice, Client-Focused, Collaboration, Consensus, Core Business, Ecosystem Management, Empower Employees, Empowerment, Fast Track, Game Plan, Gap Analysis, Go the Extra Mile, Growth Management, Hardball, Harvest*, Holistic, In the Loop, Knowledge Base, Lessons Learned, Mindset, Move the Goal Posts, Movers and Shakers, No Blame, On the Same Page, Out of the Loop, Overgrazing**, Paradigm, Partnership, Peel the Onion Back, Proactive, Not Reactive, Put That One To Bed, Quality-Driven, Result-Driven, Revisit, Smart Growth, Stakeholders, Strategic Fit, Stretch the Envelope, Sustainable, Sustainable, Development,Synergy, Take That Offline, The Big Picture, The Bottom Line, Think Outside the Box, Total Quality, Touch Base, Value-Added, Win-Win and Win-Win Situation

* In the context of logging virgin forest, one cannot reap what one does not sow.

** Grazing of any kind is the ecological problem. One does not speak of "overlogging," "overmining," or "overroading."


Headwaters News summarizes recent environmental news stories for the Rocky Mountain country (which sometimes includes eastern Oregon).

Sightline Daily is an RSS feed that is the best summary every morning of the environmental news from northern California to Alaska and not forgetting British Columbia.


    • Ecology
    • Government
    • Greed
    • Observations on Life
    • Otherwise Uncategorized
    • Public Trust
    • Religion
    • Simplicity
    • Truth
    • Walking
    • Words

    Other quotes are available under each topic area


One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

    William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (Act III, scene 3)

Technology has not multiplied resources; it has just sped us through them faster.

    David Brower

The Four Laws of Ecology:

1. Everything is connected to everything else.

2. Everything must go somewhere.

3. Nature knows best.

4. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    Barry Commoner, The Closing Circle.

What can be more conservative than conservation?

    Rep. (R) Lacy J. Davenport (aka Garry Trudeau):

Principles of Ecological Restoration

1. Mimic nature wherever possible.

2. Work outward from areas of strength, where the ecosystem is closest to its natural condition.

3. Pay particular attention to "keystone" species—those that are key components of the ecosystem, and on which many other species depend.

4. Utilize pioneer species and natural succession to facilitate the restoration process.

5. Re-create ecological niches where they've been lost.

6. Re-establish ecological linkages—reconnect the threads in the web of life.

7. Control and/or remove introduced species.

8. Remove or mitigate the limiting factors that prevent restoration from taking place naturally.

9. Let nature do most of the work.

10. Love nurtures the life force and spirit of all being, and is a significant factor in helping to heal Earth.

    Featherstone, Alan Watson. 1996. "Regenerating the Caledonian Forest: Restoring Ecological Wilderness in Scotland". International Journal of Wilderness, Volume 2, Number 3, December, page 41.


A government powerful enough to give you everything you want is power enough to take from you every thing you have.

    Gerald Ford

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.

    Anatole France, French novelist

Amnesty: act by which sovereigns pardon the injustices they themselves have committed.


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Lord Acton

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to the force of the crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it, the rain may enter: But the King of England cannot enter—all his forces dare not cross the threshold of this ruined tenement.

    William Pitt

Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government?

    H.D. Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

The Government of the United States is never far ahead of the American public; nor is it ever very far behind.

    Cordell Hull


The most beautiful sight we see is the child at labor; as early as he may get at labor, the more beautiful, the more useful does his life become.

    Asa Candle, first President of Coca-Cola.

If your heart is on the left, don't keep your wallet on the right.


Everything I do, I do for a profit.

    H.L. Hunt

This then is held to be the duty of the man with wealth: To set an example of modesty, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance, to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent on him, and after do so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in a manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to provide the most beneficial—the man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee and gent for his poor brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.

    Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889)

Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.


Observations on Life

The real philanthropists in our society are the people who work for less than they can actually live on ... So that people like you can be dressed well and fed cheaply.

Barbara Ehrenreich quoted in The American Ruling Class (film, 2006)

Of offering more than what I can deliver, I have a bad habit, it is true. But I have to offer more than I can deliver, to be able to deliver what I do.

    Ken Kesey (as quoted by Stone, Robert. 2004. "The Prince Of Possibility." New Yorker. June 14 and 21, 2004: 72)

Nobody don't boo nobodies.

    Reggie Jackson

He has no enemies, you say,
My friend, the boast is poor,
He who hath mingled in the fray
Of duty that the brave endure
Must have foes.
If he has none,
Small is the work he has done
He has hit no traitor on the hip,
Has cast no cup from perjured lip,
Has never turned the wrong to right,
He's been a coward in the fight.

    Poem recited by former Texas Congressman C. Wright Patman who was "called a Communist, a Socialist and everything else" as author of the "Full Employment Bill" in the 1930s. (Quoted in "Hard Times--An Oral History of The Great Depression" by Studs Terkel, copyright 1970.)

You win not by chance, but by preparation.

    Roger Maris

The greater part of what my neighbors call good, I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything it is very likely to be my good behavior.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Good sense is of all things in this world most equally distributed. For everybody thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that even the most difficult to please in all other matters do not commonly desire more than they already possess.

    Rene Descartes, Discourse On The Method of Rightly Conducting Reason

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.


The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

    Albert Einstein

I'm not against civilization, technology, or science. I just want us to use them well. We haven't learned to do that yet.

    David Brower

When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.

    Birdwatcher's Proverb

Adventure is discomfort or danger recalled in pleasant surroundings.


Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay, Memoirs of the Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (ca. 1850)

It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise, than to hear the song of the fools.

    Ecclesiastics 7:5

Our will always seeks our own good, but we do not always perceive what it is. The people are never corrupted, but they are often deceived, and only then do they seem to will what is bad.

    Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), The Social Contract (Book II Chapter II)

Every man is my superior in that I learn from him.


In order to reach the truth, it is necessary once in one's life, to put everything in doubt—so far as possible.

    René Descartes

Novelty is revolutionary. So is truth.

    Paris wall graffiti, May/June 1968

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give truth.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

I am glad to have drunk water so long, for the same reason I prefer the natural sky to an opium-eater's heaven. I would fain keep sober always; and there are infinite degrees of drunkenness. I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of the morning with a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dish of tea! Even music may be intoxicating. Such apparently slight causes destroyed Greece and Rome, and will destroy England and America.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

It is better to wear out than to rust out.

    Bishop Richard Cumberland

Observation, not old age, brings wisdom.


The world is a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell "god" with the wrong blocks.

    Edward Arlington Robinson, in a letter published in the Bookman, March 1897.

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in, I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

What is the end of man? Is it to populate the Earth with the maximum number of human beings—or is it to enable human beings to lead the best kind of life that the spiritual limitations of human nature allow?

    Arnold Toynbee

In a nutshell, humans have managed to pull ahead of the rest of the animal world by effectively opting out Darwinian evolution. Instead, we now undergo a sort of Lamarckian evolution—the inheritance of learned information—not through genes but through culture. Instead of slowly, biologically adapting to different environments as we spread out from Africa across the globe—we used culture to adapt these environments to ourselves.

   Michael Moore, film producer (Roger & Me) and TV host (TV Nation)

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.


I intend to build me a house which surpasses any on the main street in Concord in grandeur and luxury, as soon as it pleases me as much and will cost me no more than the present one.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Making some bird or beast go lame the rest of its life is a sore thing on one's conscience, at least nothing to boast of, and it has no religion in it.

    John Muir

Such is oftenest the young man's introduction to the forest, and the most original part of himself. He goes thither at first as a hunter and fisher, until at last, if he has the seeds of a better life in him, he distinguishes his proper objects, as a poet or naturalist it may be, and leaves the gun and the fishpole behind. The mass of men are still and always will be young in this respect.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches to-day to save nine tomorrow.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Everybody is ignorant, only in different subjects.

    Will Rogers

Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.

    Albert Einstein

The one thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

    Edmund Burke, 1795

To what purpose is industrialization if we end up by replacing rigid confinement of man's actions by nature with rigid confinements of man's actions by man.

    Harrison Brown, The Challenge of Man's Future (1954)

We shape our buildings and forever afterwards our buildings shape us.

    Winston Churchill, to the House of Commons, 1943

An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn't take his education too seriously.

    Charles F. Kettering.

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse.... Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and deduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, when then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.

    H.D. Thoreau

Don't build a reputation when young that will be hard to keep when old.

    R.A. ("Rube") Long

Wine maketh merry, but money answerth all things:

    Ecclesiastes 10:11

A man should be judged for what he stands for—also for what he falls for.

    R.A. ("Rube") Long

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.

    Confucius, as reported in H.D. Thoreau's Walden

Walls have ears. Your ears have walls.

    Paris graffiti

When I grew up in this business the idea was to be able to write eight lines and make it describe something that you couldn't do with a camera. That was the idea of the Song. I think they do it the other way around now. They make those videos about these guys movin' around real quick and there's a girl in there and some sort of turmoil going on. You could put 1005 different lyrics behind it. The song becomes secondary. I think that's what we're hearin' on the radio—secondary video music.

    Merle Haggard, in Hemp Times, Spring 1997

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Man was designed neither to be a cog in a machine as the communists conceive him, a statistic as Science connives him, nor a consumer as Madison Avenue views him.

    William O. Douglas, "Wilderness and Human Rights," from Voices for the Wilderness (ed. William Schwartz, 1969)

I am Marxist of the Groucho wing.


The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.


...a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are the most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest.

...Any man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one already.

    H.D. Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

To desire reality is good; to realize one's desires is better.


Nothing is constant but change.


America is the only nation that has gone from barbarism to decadence without creating civilization in between.


As for clothing, to come at once to the practical part of the question, perhaps we are lead oftener by the love of novelty and a regard for the opinions of men, in procuring it, than by a true utility. Let him who has work to do to recollect that the objects of clothing is, first to retain vital heat, and secondly, in his state of society, to cover nakedness, and he may judge how much of any necessary or important work may be accomplished without adding to his wardrobe.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited, that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves, if only for a few minutes, is and always has been one of the principal appetites of the soul.

    Aldous Huxley

I had three piece of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and I threw them out the window in disgust.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.

    T.S. Eliot

In the revolution there are two types of people: those who make it, those who profit from it.


Every teacher is a learner; every learner is a teacher.


Conduct yourself in such a manner that you are in good company when you are alone.

    R. A. ("Rube") Long

The reason why I have so much better opinion of myself than others have of me is that I judge myself by my best efforts; others judge me by my poorest.

    R.A. ("Rube") Long

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines or rather indicates his fate.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

The positive thing about the skeptic is that he considers everything possible.

    Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

Every mountain means at least two valleys.


When the finger points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.


Better dead than mellow.


You must not worry about things you have no control over. Make peace with yourself, choose your battle carefully, fight there and there alone to make things right, and leave the rest.

    Myles Hoirton, as reported in Foxfire 2, Eliot Wigginton, Ed., Anchor Press, 1973

Culture is like jam; the less one has, the more one spreads it.


Monarchy is like a great ship—you ride with the wind and tide in safely and elation, but by and by you strike a reef and go down. Democracy is like a raft—you never sink but, damn it, your feet are always in the water.

    Fish Ames (c. 1780s)

You don't proceed over a bridge that will fall from your own weight just for the lack of another one in sight.

    Jerry Mander, "Advertising: Affording the Message," from No Deposit-No Return, Huey D. Johnson, ed.

Like the winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question of whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us in the minority, the opportunity 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

We are preoccupied with time. If we could learn to love space as deeply as we are now obsessed with time, we might discover a new meaning in the phrase to live like men.

    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

I try to avoid saying "I didn't have time." I have as much time as the richest man in the world, twenty-four hours. I just can't organize these hours just right.

    R. A. ("Rube") Long.

We are all downstream from each other. If we take care of our streams, then we'll be okay.

    Mason Williams, 21 Jan. 1984. Rally for Waldo Lake. Eugene, Oregon

When a man must be afraid to drink freely from his country's rivers and streams, that country is no longer fit to live in.

    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you. If you really make them think, they'll hate you.

    Don Marquis, Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste & remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they to have their story.

Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; man persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of sprit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the tree & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors & aspirations; in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful word. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

    by Max Ehrmann 1927

You don't argue with engineers—you have to derail them.

    Edward Abbey, "The Second Rape of the West," Playboy, Dec. 1975

If you think for others, the others will think for you.


Thought is action in rehearsal.

    Sigmund Freud

The pendulum swings from the extreme to the extreme. This is alright, for if it stops, so does the clock.

    R.A. ("Rube") Long

A practical man is a man you can count upon to perpetuate the errors of his ancestors.

    Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    John Donne., Devotions XVII

Each man's death diminishes me? Not necessarily. Given this man's age, the inevitability and suitability of his death, and the essential nature of life on earth, there is in each of us the unspeakable conviction that we are well rid of him. His departure makes room for the living. Away with the old, in with the new. He is gone—we remain, others come. The plow of mortality drives through the stubble, turns over the rocks and sod and weeds to cover the old, the worn-out, the husks, shells, empty seedbeds and sables roots, clearing the field for the next crop. A ruthless, brutal process—but clean and beautiful.

    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

    Aldous Huxley

Or, I might add, because they are denied.

    Albert Bartlett

Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind. Nay, it is greatly overrated; and it is our selfishness which overrates it.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

    Arthur Conan Doyle

Sometimes there are exceedingly brief periods which determine a long future.

    Bernard DeVoto, The Year of Decision – 1846

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

    Albert Einstein

My God! I'm thinking, what incredible shit we put up with most of our lives—the domestic routine (same old wife every night), the stupid and useless and degrading jobs, the insufferable arrogance of elected officials, the crafty cheating and the slimy advertising of the businessmen, the tedious wars in which we kill our buddies instead of our real enemies back home in the capital, the foul, the diseased and hideous cities and towns we live in, the constant petty tyranny of automatic washers and automobiles and TV machines and telephones—!ah Christ! I'm thinking... what intolerable garbage and what utterly useless crap we bury ourselves in day after day, while patiently enduring at the same time the creeping strangulation of the clean white collar and the rich but modest four-in-one garrote.

    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Yet the manner of death he fears does not sound bad to me, to me it seemed a decent, clean way to take off, surely better than the slot rot in a hospital oxygen tent with rubber tubes stuck up your nose, prick asshole, whit blood transfusion and intravenous feeding, bedsores and bedpans and bad tempered nurse's aides—the whole nasty routine to which most dying men, in our time are condemned.

    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

A living dog is better than a dead lion. Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can? Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he is made.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

I think I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all.

    Ogden Nash, Song of the Open Road

One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature—inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to the higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.

    John Muir

I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

    Edgar Allen Poe

There is great care about dress, but great carelessness about virtue.


Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress, let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.

    Proverbs 31:6-7

We can have facts without thinking, but we cannot have thinking without facts.

    John Dewey

If I have unjustly wrested a plank from a drowning man, I must restore it to him though I drown myself.

    H.D. Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

The head monkey in Paris put on a traveler's cap and all the monkeys in America do the same.... Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Forgiveness brings piece; forgetfulness brings myths.

    Eugene Weber

There's another disadvantage to the use of a flashlight: like many other mechanized gadgets it tends to separate man from the world around him. If I switch it on my eyes adapt to it and I can only see the small pool of lights in front of me: I am isolated. Leaving the flashlight in my pocket where it belongs, I remain part of the environment. I walk through and my vision though limited has no sharp boundary.

    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Being a bapist won't keep you from sinning, but it'll sure as hell keep you from enjoying it.

    Jimmy Dean, singer/sausage king

If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.

    Thomas Paine (Introduction to Common Sense, 1776)

I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.

    Ken Kesey (attributed to by University of Oregon President David Frohnmayer, quoted in "Eclectic Program Honors Kesey at Memorial Service," by Sam Howe Verhovek, November 15, 2001 National Edition New York Times, page A14)

Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt,  1899

Make no little plans. They have no  magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be  realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering  that a noble, logical program, once recorded, will never die,  but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting  itself with growing intensity.

    Words attributed to  architect/planner Daniel Hudson Burnham  (1846-1912)

Otherwise Uncategorized

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self-evident.

    Arthur Schopenhauer

Make no little plan. They have no magic to stir one's blood.... Make big plans. Aim high in hope and work, remembering that the noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing.

    Daniel Burnham, in a challenge to urban planners at the dawn of the 20th Century

A myth is rooted in fundamental assumptions, regardless of their truth, that are believed by a community to the extent that they longer appear to be assumptions.

    McCain, Lauren, Richard P. Rading, and Brian J. Miller, "Prairie Dog—Cowboy Pest or Grassland Keystone?" in Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West (George Wurthner, ed.) in press.

When I hear of the destruction of a species, I feel just as if all the works of some great writer has perished.

    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

What's the hurry to get to Pluto or Saturn? Maybe we ought to leave the other planets alone for awhile until we learn to take care of the one we've got.

    Arjun Makhijani, Quoted in "The Nuke-Slayer" in Discover, April 2001

Definition of a good football coach: One who is smart enough to win and dumb enough to think it is important.

    Eugene J. McCarthy

What good is electricity, madam? What good is a baby?

    Michael Faraday (also attributed to Ben Franklin)

Italian mariner, Christoforo Colombo, brave, persistent, an inspired sailor, but a fumbling administrator, an impractical dreamer, and (fortunately) a poor judge of distances, spent a decade cruising in the Caribbean Sea under the mistaken impression it was next door to China. He killed some natives, established a few rickety settlements, ventured no nearer to North America than Cuba, and died poor, embittered and frustrated, hotly denying that he had found anything more than a new route to the Orient. Today, whether he is known as Colombo, Colon or Columbus, he is revered by the masses of the Old World and the New as the discover of the Western Hemisphere.

    John A. Garraty, The American Nation, 2nd ed. chapter 1.

Columbus: He left not knowing where he was going, and upon arriving, did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he'd been and did it all on borrowed money.


Multiple Use—a concept that came to us from the National Forest Service—is, when properly understood and applied, suitable for management of all parts of the public domain—both state and federal.

Multiple use has meant many things to many people and it has been often stretched and distorted to fit special needs. It has been used to exclude all uses but one or to include every possible use. Special interests have used it to exclude or include according to their selfish desires. It has not always been used to mean that land should be dedicated to those uses which, measured by the public interest, representing the highest and best use.

    William O. Douglas, A Wilderness Bill of Rights (1965)

Irrevocable Standing Order

If and when I start to burn out, it is the duty of any and all staff and board members to tell me. I have long observed the phenomenon, and hope that in my time, I will recognize it and take the appropriate steps before it is necessary for any of you to contemplate stepping on my oxygen hose.

In the words of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) to Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR), "You should have the grace to go." I hope to, but if history is any guide, I likely won't. When I'm becoming ineffective and a burden to the organization and the movement, it is your duty to take me out. Do not shirk it because of personal friendships or loyalty.

    Andy Kerr , Closing words in a memorandum to Staff and Board of Oregon Natural Resources Council, "Some Initial Thoughts On, and Actions to Achieve, My Major Goals for ONRC," 8 June 1994

The Frozen Logger

    As I sat down one evening,
    within a small cafe,
    a forty year old waitress,
    to me these words did say.
    I see that you're a logger,
    and not just a common bum.
    Because nobody but a logger
    stirs his coffee with his thumb.
    My lover was a logger.
    There's none like him today.
    If you poured whiskey on it,
    he'd eat a bale of hay.
    He never shaved his whiskers,
    from off his thorny hide.
    He would pound them in with a hammer,
    and bit them off inside.
    My lover came to see me
    on one frozen day
    and held me in a fond embrace
    that broke three vertebrae.
    He kissed me when we parted,
    so hard he broke my jaw.
    I could not speak to tell him
    that he'd forgot his mackinaw.
    I saw my lover leaving
    sauntering through the snow.
    Walking merrily homeward
    at forty-eight below.
    The weather tried to kill him.
    It tried its level best.
    At 100 degrees below zero,
    he buttoned up his vest.
    It froze clean through to China.
    It froze to the stars above.
    At 1000 degrees below zero,
    it froze my logger love.
    We tried and tried to thaw him.
    We could not do it sir.
    So we make him into axe blades
    to cut the Douglas-fir.
    So now you've heard my story.
    To this cafe I've come.
    Looking for a logger who
    stirs his coffee with his thumb.

    written ca. 1950 in Corvallis by Stewart Holbrook, H.L. Davis and James Stevens during a drinking session.

Five-Paragraph Operational Order

    1. Situation

        A. Enemy
        B. Friendly

    2. Mission

    3. Execution

        A. General Concepts
        B. Specific Tasks
        C. Coordination

    4. Command and Control Structure
    5. Logistical Support and Resources

    United States Marine Corps

Over 5000 years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel, "Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels and I will lead you to the Promised Land." Nearly 5000 years later, Roosevelt said, "Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, light up a camel, this is the Promised Land." Today Nixon is stealing your shovels, kicking your asses, raising the price of camels and mortgaging the Promised Land.


A couple and their 2-year-old son moved to a small town. The boy grew up there and lived out the rest of his 90-odd years in that small town. When he died, they put on his tombstone, "He was almost one of us."

Another couple moved to a small town. After living there several years and having had two children along the way, the husband said to a local, "My wife and I moved here, so I can understand that we aren't local, but my kids were born here. Doesn't that make them local?" The local replied, "Well, no. If your cat had kittens in the oven, you wouldn't call them biscuits."

Rural is having nothing to brag about but how long you've been stuck in one place.

    Knute Rife, Goldendale WA (May/Jun 96 Utne Reader letters)

One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;" and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden

What do we want with this vast, worthless area, this region of savages and wild beasts, of shifting sands and whirlpools of dust, of cactus and prairie dogs? To what use could we ever hope to put these great deserts or great mountain ranges, impenetrable and cover to their base with eternal snow? Mr. President, I will never vote one cent from the pubic treasury to place the Pacific Coast one inch closer to Boston than it is now.

    Daniel Webster, speaking in Congress on the Columbia River Country, early 1800s.

This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963

Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt,  1899

Make no little plans. They have no  magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be  realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering  that a noble, logical program, once recorded, will never die,  but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting  itself with growing  intensity.

    Words attributed to  architect/planner Daniel Hudson Burnham  (1846-1912)

Public Trust

In administration of this god-given trust, a broad protective policy should be declared and maintained. No local self interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or ever impair this great birthright of the people.

    Oregon Gov. Oswald West

The law locks up both man and woman
Who steals the goose from off the common.
But lets the greater felon loose,
Who steals the commons from the goose.

    A medieval English Quatrain


When the chips are down, money counts more than religion.

    John F. Kennedy

The whole world has a great deal of violence going on which doesn't occupy the headlines. There are many people being killed in this country by drunken drivers and crime. Man is prone to violence and there will be no cessation of that, not until Christ of our kingdom come. (But what about the bombing?) I deplore the suffering and killing in the war and I pray that it can be ended as soon as possible. But, we also have to realize that there are hundreds of thousands of deaths attributed to smoking.

    The Reverend Doctor Billy Graham, (about Nixon's renewed bombing of North Vietnam in December 1992)

I would not fault the wealthy, for at the death of Christ, it was a rich man who bought the burial spices and assisted in the final preparation of his body for the tomb. I recognize of course, that most of his disciples were not men of wealth, but Jesus had no implied criticism of the wealthy as such.

    The Reverend Doctor Billy Graham

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.

    J. Christ, as quoted in Mark 10:25.


I have a simple philosophy. Fill what is empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.

    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

That the more simple anything is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered.

    Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be two or three, not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count a half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumbnail....

Simply, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one, instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.

    H.D. Thoreau, Walden


After Hiroshima it was obvious that the loyalty of science was not to humanity, but to truth—its own truth—and that the law of science was not the law of good—what humanity thinks as good, meaning moral, decent, humane—but the law of the possible. What is possible for science to know science must know. What is possible for technology to do, technology will have done.... The frustration—and it is a real and debasing frustration—in which we are mired today will not leave us until we believe in ourselves again, assume the mastery of our lives, the management of our means.

    Archibald MacLeish, in Saturday Review 10/14/67, p 22.


All walking is a discovery, on foot we take time to see things whole.

    Hal Borland

I have two doctors; my left foot and my right.


There is no orthodoxy in walking. It is a land of many paths and no paths, where everyone who goes his own way is right.


Of all exercises, walking is best.

    Thomas Jefferson

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.

    R.L. Stevenson

To find new things take the path you took yesterday.

    John Burroughs


A rough cough and a hiccough plough me through.

    Upton Sinclair

I have two pairs of pears to pare too.

    Andy Kerr