John Muir ca. 1902

John Muir (*1838 Schottland, ⴕ 1914 California) was naturalist, botanist, geologist, conservationist, explorer, inventor, author and founder of nature philosophy and nature conservation. In early years, he invented for example an early-riding machine, a thermometer, a hygrometer and a barometer. In 1892, he founded the Sierra Club, still one of the biggest nature conservation associations in North America, with him as president as long as he lived. 1890 he was co-founder of scientific-substantiated nature conservation. Muir foundet several National Parks and Natural Monuments. In 1906, John Muir and Theodor Roosevelt – after a hiking tour of several days together – founded the Yosemite National Park. Muir received several tributes like an asteroid and the biggest fire fighting aircraft named after him as well as the conservation foundation John Muir Trust, the John Muir Wilderness Area in Sierra Nevada and the plant genus Muiria. A John Muir coin is contributing to the preservation of the Yosemite National Park. He received honorary doctorates at the Universities Harvard, Wisconsin, Yale and Berkeley. Since 1989, California is celebrating the John Muir Day on Muir’s birthday the 21st April.

“I never saw a discontented tree.”
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
“None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.”
“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness.”
“Going to the mountains is going home.”
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
“One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”
“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties”
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
“The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains – mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.”
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”
“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

John Muir ca. 1902
John Muir
(1838 – 1914)

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