In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks!

John Muir

John Muir (1838-1914) was America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist. He is one of California’s most important historical personalities. He has been called “The Father of our National Parks,” “Wilderness Prophet,” and “Citizen of the Universe.” He once described himself more humorously, and perhaps most accurately, as, a “poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc. !!!!”

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.

Yosemite National Park, California

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. Muir’s Sierra Club has gone on to help establish a series of new National Parks and a National Wilderness Preservation System.

Perhaps his greatest legacy is not even wilderness preservation or national parks as such, but his teaching us the essential characteristic of the science of ecology, the interrelatedness of all living things. He summed it up nicely: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

Yosemite National Park, California

But Muir had the foresight to realize that it could not always be just what “one person can do.” Collective action is necessary, which is why John Muir agreed, in 1892, to be the first President of the Sierra Club, and served in that capacity for the rest of his life. John Muir can be readily seen as the founding inspiration for the environmental movement, which continues to address the need for ecological harmony.

John Muir is as relevant today as he was over 100 years ago when he met with President Theodore Roosevelt in Yosemite. Many of today’s headlines have Muir to thank for their inspiration.

By Elysian Studios

Blissful Experiences in Virtual Reality

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