As Scotland enters a momentous new year, the John Muir Trust is urging all political parties to unite behind the proposed wild land map of Scotland in honour of one of our nation's greatest heroes.
John Muir died on Christmas Eve 1914, leaving behind him an enduring legacy of respect for nature, ecology and landscape.
He is today a household name in the United States for his role in establishing the national parks. In his adopted state of California, streets, schools, museums, health centres, parks, rivers valleys and mountains are named in honour of the Dunbar-born writer, explorer, ecologist, activist, scientist and philosopher.
John Hutchison, chair of the John Muir Trust said: “2014 is shaping up to be a momentous year for Scotland.
“Whatever our political allegiances, we can all unite this year in honour of one of the great Scots of all time, the founding father of the modern conservation movement.
“In this centenary year of his death, the most fitting tribute of all would be for all of our political parties to support the pioneering wild land map of Scotland, which will be debated in Holyrood in the coming months.
“Scotland’s wild land is not pristine wilderness, but it is famed worldwide for its rugged, scenic grandeur and is one of our greatest national assets.
“The wild land map drawn up by Scottish Natural Heritage will protect our magnificent landscapes for generations to come from large scale commercial exploitation.
“We can reassure those who have expressed concerns that the John Muir Trust wants to see thriving local communities alongside wild land.
“This map is not about preventing community-scale projects, nor would it stop the repopulation of cleared or abandoned rural settlements.”
“Far from being a threat to local economies, we believe the wild land map can give a great boost to the Highlands by graphically illustrating to the rest of the world the extent of our wild lands.”