Thursday, April 21, 2022

Apr. 21: John Muir, Scottish-born Californian conservationist


Name John Muir (1838-1914) was a Scottish-born Californian conservationist who was called "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks" for his influence on the wilderness preservation policies of the U.S. He was a self-taught botanist, zoologist, glaciologist, naturalist, author, and environmental philosopher. According to one article, "at least one high school, 21 elementary schools, six middle schools, and one college" have been "named after him, as well as a glacier, a mountain, a woods, a cabin, an inlet, a highway, a library, a motel, a medical center, a tea room and a minor planet." He helped preserve the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park, and co-founded The Sierra Club, a prominent American conservation organization. His letters, essays, and books have been read by millions. Alas, in recent years his racism toward Native Americans and Blacks has emerged, and the Sierra Club has found itself apologizing for his views and taking steps to correct the harm done by this part of his legacy. Notable books include The Mountains of California; Our National Parks; My First Summer in the Sierra; and The Yosemite.


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