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Page 2 - John Muir - Conservation Leader & "Father of Our National Parks"

By: C.M.Shorter

John Muir
(April 21, 1838 – Dec. 14, 1914)
Conservation Leader & "Father of Our National Parks"
John Muir
It was here in the heart of the Yosemite Valley John Muir received many stately and world famous visitors.  In 1871, the great naturalist and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, a man Muir greatly admired & respected, came to visit him in Yosemite Valley.  Muir reminded Emerson of his own native Sequoia Indian heritage and their duties to mankind to preserve this land.  It was on March 1, 1872, then President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill designating Yellowstone as the World's First National Park.  This protection was largely attributable to the efforts of conservationist John Muir and, in part, earned John Muir the title  “Father of our National Parks”.

It was in 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt traveled to Yosemite to meet with John Muir, and behold the scenic beauty that Muir was battling to preserve.  These two great conservations legends went camping overnight in the great outdoors to awaken to a virgin snow fallen morning.  Roosevelt agreed that this was a land that warranted Federal protection.  Muir had long lobbied for Federal jurisdiction to protect these lands.  Historically, June 30, 1864 previously marked a conservation landmark date being the first time in history that a Federal Government has set aside lands of scenic beauty to protect them.  On this day, President Abraham Lincoln had signed a bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to the State of California as an inalienable public trust.  In 1905 under President Roosevelt’s leadership Congress transferred both Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove, home to the Giant Sequoia Forests and the southernmost part of Yosemite near Wawona into the Yosemite National Park system as a result of Muir’s staunch efforts.  President Roosevelt, one of the greatest conservation icons of our time made full use of his Executive Powers to protect vast amounts of American Wilderness for future generations.

John Muir’s conservation efforts continue to this day with the protected wilderness of Yosemite standing in testimony to this great man.  His vision was shared with many great conservation leaders of the times including Theodore Roosevelt, Ansel Adams, Galen Clark, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many others.  Today John Muir is honored in many ways.  Muir was not only personally involved in the creation of Yosemite, but also Sequoia, Mount Rainier, the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon National Parks.  There is a wilderness trail in Yosemite bearing his name where you can see his beloved Half-Dome rising to the sky.  The legacy of his life still lives today as does the unfragmented biodiversity he believed in for this land.  Here you can see the many Tributes to the Legacy of John Muir.

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<< Back to John Muir Also: Tributes commemorating the life and legacy of John Muir >>
John Muir Photographic History >> | Cedar Key >> | Yosemite National Park >> | General Grant Tree >>
Related: Theodore Roosevelt | Ansel Adams | Galen Clark | The Florida Everglades

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