The most apparent element of John Muir's legacy are the many US National Parks. Based on his profound connection with nature, Muir fought for the establishment of these natural treasures; writing hundreds of articles, books, and journals, and inspiring political figures to support his cause. His relationship with Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental, as the President used his power to establish National Parks and monuments. Muir’s efforts were not always successful, most notably his efforts to stop the damning of the Hetch Hetchy Valley as a water source for San Francisco. In the end, Muir’s legacy is not only in establishing several National Parks, but in raising the awareness of the importance of preserving nature, the basis of the conservation movement today.
“But I would say Muir’s greatest accomplishment was his eloquent advocacy of a new way of looking at Nature and giving its protection a higher priority in our national consciousness."
~Dayton Duncan Personal email interview
Photos of Yosemite National Park:
Photos in slideshow - Adriana Ballinger
Image from Sierra Club