John Muir remembered on centenary

On December 24 1914 John Muir died in a Los Angeles hospital after being stricken with pneumonia while on a visit to the Southern Californian city to visit his daughter.

John Muir

John Muir

The pioneering Scots-born conservationist, explorer, author and campaigner remains a giant figure in American culture. His picture hangs in the California Hall of Fame alongside Clint Eastwood, Walt Disney and Barbara Streisand, while across the United States, libraries, schools, universities, hospitals, parks and mountains are named in his honour.

Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust said: “Over the past century since his death, John Muir’s relevance has been challenged time and a time again, but his ideas continue to resonate down through the generations. Here in Scotland, in the land of his birth, he is perhaps better known than at any time since his death.

“The recognition by the Scottish Government earlier this year of the national importance of wild land, in the shape of a map of covering almost 20 per cent of Scotland’s landmass, was a measure that John Muir would have warmly approved. He would also have welcomed the measures set out proposed new land reform bill to protect Scotland’s biodiversity from overgrazing.

“But as his words engraved on the wall of the Scottish Parliament state, ‘the battle for conservation goes on endlessly’.

“The John Muir Trust has no unique claim on the legacy of John Muir. We do, however, try to carry on his work and deliver his vision in 21st century Scotland.

“That means fighting to protect wild land when it comes under siege from modern industrial, such as is happening right now around the Monadhliath Mountains.

“It means bringing people closer to nature, as we do with the John Muir Award scheme which earlier this month Trust delivered its 100,000th certificate in Scotland.

“And it means bringing back some of the great natural wonders which have been lost. Today, the Trust is part of a great worldwide movement s towards, ‘rewilding.’ That involves working with to bring back, fragment by fragment, that lost tapestry of Scots pine, birch, aspen, rowan, oak, alder and hazel that once draped itself across Scotland’s now bare landscapes.

“John Muir’s body was buried was buried 100 years ago but his spirit and ideas live on, and are growing stronger, not least in his native land.”

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