John of the Mountains
John Muir, known as "John of the Mountains", was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wild places and the "wilderness" in the United States.
His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California, have been read by millions and his activism helped to protect and preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other natural areas.
The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organisation. The 211-mile (340 km) John Muir Trail, a hiking trail in the Sierra Nevada, was named in his honour. Other such places include Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier.
In Scotland, the John Muir Way, a 130-mile-long route, was named in honour of him.
In his later life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests and inspired people like Enos Mills
and Freeman Tilden
. He petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite National Park. The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas. He is today referred to as the "Father of the National Parks" and the National Park Service has produced a short documentary about his life.
John Muir has been considered "an inspiration to both Scots and Americans". Muir's biographer, Steven J. Holmes, believes that Muir has become "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity," both political and recreational. As a result, his writings are commonly discussed in books and journals, and he is often quoted by nature photographers such as Ansel Adams.