Yosemite National Park
Muir cared deeply about all aspects of the natural world, but his greatest passion was reserved for Yosemite and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountain range. Despite, or possibly because of, his time as a shepherd, he was deeply concerned about the damage done to the mountains and the valleys by domesticated animals, most especially sheep. He felt that the natural world needed to be preserved in with all the wildness that entails and saw the damage done by grazing sheep as devastation.
He published several articles on the need for Yosemite to be offered some form of special protection and, in 1890, almost all of his suggestions were put into law. His writing and activism is credited with the creation of the Yosemite National Park. He was not content with the level of protection initially provided, however, as the land was still under the control of state legislature, rather than being under federal control.
Both as president of the Sierra Club and separately, he continued to fight for federal control of Yosemite. In 1903, he met President Roosevelt and spent 3 nights camping with him. They hiked along the mountains and, although Muir had decreed that there was to be no discussion of politics, his knowledge and passion combined with the natural beauty of the area was sufficient to sway the president. The park was passed to federal control and Roosevelt continued to be an ardent supporter of National Parks throughout his term of office.
Photo Courtesy Al Golub Photography
Presentation to Stanislaus County – Highway renaming “John Muir Highway”