Just as you can't truly love another human without knowing them intimately, you can't love your landbase without knowing it intimately. In other words, you can't be a real environmentalist, or not much of one anyway, if you don't know how the land you live on functions and how to interact with it properly. You need to know how to live in place to be able to make any real decisions about that place.
Or maybe the term "environmentalist" is more fitting; it's purely caring about your environs, your surroundings. Not the complex interlocking systems and networks of other living beings. Not the play of life and death that maintains the balance, diversity, and abundance of a healthy ecosystem.