“As a wilderness explorer, he is renowned for his exciting adventures in California’s Sierra Nevada, among Alaska’s glaciers, and world wide travels in search of nature’s beauty. As a writer, he taught the people of his time and ours the importance of experiencing and protecting our natural heritage. His writings contributed greatly to the creation of Yosemite, Sequoia, Mount Rainier, Petrified Forest, and Grand Canyon National Parks.
President Roosevelt met John Muir in Yosemite 100 years ago
His words and deeds helped inspire President Theodore Roosevelt’s innovative conservation programs, including establishing the first National Monuments by Presidential Proclamation, and Yosemite National Park by congressional action. In 1892, John Muir and other supporters formed the Sierra Club “to make the mountains glad.” John Muir was the Club’s first president, an office he held until his death in 1914. His last battle to save the second Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy Valley, failed. But that lost battle ultimately resulted in a widespread conviction that our national parks should be held inviolate. Many proposals to dam our national parks since that time have been stopped because of the efforts of citizens inspired by John Muir, and today there are legitimate proposals to restore Hetch Hetchy. John Muir remains today an inspiration for environmental activists everywhere.
To me the name John Muir is synonymous with Yosemite. Environmentalist, scholar, leader,and visionary it is through his great work that we have to day a place as inspiring as Yosemite. The John Muir Exhibit by the Sierra Club shows us what one man can accomplish when he sets his mind to it.