- Muir, John
died Dec. 24, 1914, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.U.S. naturalist and conservationist.Muir emigrated from Scotland with his family to Wisconsin in 1849. An 1867 accident caused him to abandon an industrial career and devote himself to nature. He began his efforts to establish a federal forest conservation policy in 1876. His writings swung public opinion in favour of Pres. Grover Cleveland's proposal for national forest reservations and influenced Pres. Theodore Roosevelt's conservation program, and he was largely responsible for establishing Sequoia and Yosemite national parks (1890). He was the chief founder and first president of the Sierra Club (1892–1914). In 1908 the U.S. government established the Muir Woods National Monument in Marin Co., California.John MuirBy courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
* * *▪ American naturalistborn April 21, 1838, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scot.died Dec. 24, 1914, Los Angelesnaturalist, advocate of U.S. forest conservation, who was largely responsible for the establishment of Sequoia (Sequoia National Park) and Yosemite national parks (Yosemite National Park) in California. Muir's article on Yosemite appeared in the 10th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (see the Britannica Classic: ).Muir emigrated from Scotland with his family to a farm near Portage, Wis., in 1849. After attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he worked on mechanical inventions, but in 1867, when an industrial accident nearly cost him an eye, he abandoned that career and devoted himself to nature. He walked from the Middle West to the Gulf of Mexico, keeping a journal, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (published posthumously in 1916) as he went. In 1868 he went to the Yosemite Valley, California, from which he took many trips into Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, inspired by his interest in glaciers and forests. He was the first to attribute the spectacular Yosemite formations to glacial erosion, a theory now generally accepted.As early as 1876, Muir urged the federal government to adopt a forest conservation policy. The Sequoia and Yosemite national parks were established in 1890. Early in 1897, Pres. Grover Cleveland designated 13 national forests (national forest) to be preserved from commercial exploitation; business interests induced Congress to postpone the effect of that measure, but two eloquent magazine articles (June and August 1897) by Muir swung public and Congressional opinion in favour of national forest reservations. He also influenced the large-scale conservation program that was initiated by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt (Roosevelt, Theodore), who in 1903 accompanied Muir on a camping trip to the Yosemite region.In 1908 the government established the Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County, California.
* * *