A Little History
Millions of Americans owe a great deal to John Muir. The founder of the Sierra Club, Muir was a naturalist and wilderness preservationist who was instrumental in making Sequoia, Yosemite, and other wilderness areas into National Parks. The John Muir Trail, Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and other natural places have been named after him.
Muir’s love of nature began at a young age, but really flourished while attending The University of Wisconsin - Madison. His first botany course transformed Muir’s thinking of nature and electrified his mind and propelled his desires towards nature. Muir’s restlessness meant that he never finished college, but instead made nature his classroom. He explored Canada, walked 1,000 miles from Indiana to Florida, Voyaged to Cuba, but when he found Yosemite, it was like coming home. He ended up living there for three years, and it was this time and experience that helped fuel his passion for protecting the beautiful lands American had to offer.
The ensuing years brought a number of books, organizations, explorations, and relationships that Muir both influenced and was influenced by that lead to some of his greatest work and made his name synonymous with nature preservation. His founding of the Sierra Club has probably had the most lasting impact on nature conservation and preservation, but looking at just about any cross section of Muir’s life reveals a passion and appreciation of God’s natural world.