The name of John Muir as one of the earliest conservationists, naturalists, and natural philosophers is forever entwined with California – he is the man behind the creation of the Yosemite National Park and the namesake of the John Muir Trail in Sierra Nevada – but Muir was 30 years old before ever set foot in the state. In fact, Muir was a Scotsman, and despite the fact that he lived in the US for almost his entire life, he never lost his accent, nor did he lose his fundamental identity with the wild East Lothian countryside and the rugged Scottish coast upon which he was born.
The US is full of natural wonders, but few remain unspoiled by man as much as Yosemite National Park, a 750,000 square acre park near the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Despite being inhabited by people for nearly 3,000 years, the relatively remote spot helped ensure that even as America expanded west, the Yosemite area avoided being settled or exploited like so many other areas on the frontier. Although it is a World Heritage Site and has been visited by millions of people, nearly the entire park remains wilderness, replete with features like waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, mountains, and some of America’s most impressive granite cliffs.
Given its natural wonders, it should come as no surprise that the area attracted some of the 19th century’s most famous conservationists, including Muir and his good friend Theodore Roosevelt. Muir in particular was instrumental in having Yosemite declared a national park, and he would wax eloquently about the area and the fight to preserve it.
John Muir: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Conservationist examines the legendary career of one of the country’s most influential figures. You will learn about John Muir like never before.
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