John Muir

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John Muir
John Muir, 1912
Born(1838-04-21)April 21, 1838
Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland
DiedDecember 24, 1914(1914-12-24) (aged 76)
Cause of deathPneumonia
Occupation(s)Engineer, naturalist, writer, botanist, geologist, glaciologist, environmental philosopher
Known forCo-Founder of Sierra Club
Louisa Wanda Strentzel (1847-1905) (m. 1880–1905)
ChildrenWanda Muir Hanna (25 March 1881 – 29 July 1942),
Helen Muir Funk (23 January 1886 – 7 June 1964)
Parent(s)Daniel Muir and Ann Gilrye

John Muir (21 April 1838 – 24 December 1914[1]) was an influential Scottish-born American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, writer, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.

His letters, essays, and books of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions of people. Among his many notable journeys throughout the wilderness, Muir traveled from the Upper Mississippi Basin to the Gulf of Mexico and kept a journal of his travels called 'A Thousand-Mile Walk'. Muir felt that the national parks and forests needed to be preserved and some resources which should be off-limits to industrial use.[2] His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and many other wilderness areas throughout the United States. He founded the Sierra Club, now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.

In 1867, when he was 29, Muir was temporarily blinded in an accident in an Indianapolis sawmill, when his right cornea was pierced by a stray file.[3]

In 1903, John Muir and the former U.S president Theodore Roosevelt went on a three-night camping trip. This trip later shaped the way president’s thoughts and perceptions towards nature, and in turn, result in policies that were put in place in favour of the preservation of nature. One of such is the Yosemite Recession Bill in 1906, which put Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias under federal protection and by extension, part of Yosemite National Park. A total of five national parks, fifty-five national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, 150 national forests were signed into existence throughout Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, indicative of how John’s passion for nature rubbing off on the former president.[4]

One of the most well-known hiking trails in the U.S., the 211-mile (340 km) John Muir Trail, was named in his honor.[5] Other places named in his honor are Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier. For his outstanding accomplishments in preserving America's environment, he is known to many as the "Father of the National Parks" and "son of the wilderness".

References[change | change source]

  1. "John Muir". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  2. John Muir. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. Ten Cool Things About John Muir at Tree
  4. "John Muir - The Father of the National Park Biography". The Expert Camper. 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  5. Wenk, Elizabeth; Morey, Kathy (2007). John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail. Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to John Muir at Wikimedia Commons