January 17, 2009

John Muir first modern preservationists

John Muir was born in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland. Arriving in San Francisco in March 1868, Muir immediately left for a place he had only read about called Yosemite. After seeing Yosemite Valley for the first time he was captivated, and wrote, “No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite,” and “[Yosemite is] the grandest of all special temples of Nature.” After his initial eight-day visit, he returned to the Sierra foothills and became a ferry operator, sheepherder and bronco buster.

John Muir (1838–914) was one of the first modern preservationists. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, and wildlife, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, were read by millions and are still popular today. Muir’s activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States. His writings and philosophy strongly influenced the formation of the modern environmental movement.

The John Muir Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded occasionally by the John Muir Trust for outstanding contributions to wildland conservation.

Source: UB News

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