Our National Parks

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Cosimo, Inc., Dec 1, 2006 - Travel - 408 pages
A key founder of the modern conservation movement, John Muir was a champion of the preservation of the unspoiled wilderness and of the careful guardianship of the environment. This 1901 work, a collection of essays first published in the Atlantic Monthly, is Muir's valentine to the national parks of the American West. He introduces us to: . the glacier meadows and wild geysers of Yellowstone . the "magnificent mirror for the woods and mountains and sky" that is Yellowstone Lake . the coniferous forests of the Sierra Nevada, including the beautiful giant sequoia . the grizzly bears of the mountain ranges . and much more. Scottish-American naturalist, explorer, and writer JOHN MUIR (1838-1914) helped found the Sierra Club in 1892, and served as its first president. He wrote numerous articles for such publications as Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and the New York Tribune; among his many books are The Mountains of California (1894), The Yosemite (1912), and Travels in Alaska (1915). __________________________________ ALSO FROM COSIMO: Muir's Steep Trails, Letters to a Friend, and Studies in the Sierra

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The Wild Paeks and Forest Beservations of the Wist 1
n The Yellowstone National Park
The Yosemite National Park
The Forests of the Yosemite Park
The Wild Gardens of the Yosemite Park
Among the Animals of the Yosemite
Among the Birds of the Yosemite
V1IL The Fountains and Streams of the Yosemite National Park
The Sequoia and General Grant National Parks
The American Forests

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Page 333 - To the southward stretched dark, level-topped cypresses in knobby, tangled swamps, grassy savannas in the midst of them like lakes of light, groves of gay sparkling spice-trees, magnolias and palms, glossy-leaved and blooming and shining continually. To the northward, over Maine and the Ottawa, rose hosts of spiry, rosiny evergreens, — white pine and spruce, hemlock and cedar...
Page 364 - Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed - chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones.
Page 169 - I found my account in climbing a tree once. It was a tall white pine, on the top of a hill; and though I got well pitched, I was well paid for it, for I discovered new mountains in the horizon which I had never seen before — so much more of the earth and the heavens.
Page 77 - Valley lies in the heart of it, and it includes the headwaters of the Tuolumne and Merced Rivers, two of the most songful streams in the world; innumerable lakes and waterfalls and smooth silky lawns; the noblest forests, the loftiest granite domes, the deepest ice-sculptured canyons, the brightest crystalline pavements, and snowy mountains soaring into the sky twelve and thirteen thousand feet...
Page 56 - Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
Page 131 - During my first years in the Sierra I was ever calling on everybody within reach to admire them, but I found no one half warm enough until Emerson came. I had read his essays, and felt sure that of all men he would best interpret the sayings of these noble mountains and trees. Nor was my faith weakened when I met him in Yosemite. He seemed as serene as a sequoia, his head in the empyrean...
Page 35 - ... ozone, they may absorb the beauty about them, and look comfortably down on the busy towns and the most beautiful orange groves ever planted since gardening began. The Grand Canon Reserve of Arizona, of nearly two million acres, or the most interesting part of it, as well as the Rainier region, should be made into a national park, on account of their supreme grandeur and beauty. Setting out from Flagstaff, a station on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe~ Railroad, on the way to the canon you pass...
Page 76 - Benevolent, solemn, fateful, pervaded with divine light, every landscape glows like a countenance hallowed in eternal repose ; and every one of its living creatures, clad in flesh and leaves, and every crystal of its rocks, whether on the surface shining in the sun or buried miles deep in what we call darkness, is throbbing and pulsing with the heartbeats of God.
Page 364 - It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods — trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra. Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries since Christ's time — and long before that — God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but He cannot save them from fools — only Uncle Sam can do that.

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About the author (2006)

The naturalist John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was 11 years old, he moved to the United States with his family and lived on a Wisconsin farm, where he had to work hard for long hours. He would rise as early as one o'clock in the morning in order to have time to study. At the urging of friends, he took some inventions he had made to a fair in Madison, Wisconsin. This trip resulted in his attending the University of Wisconsin. After four years in school, he began the travels that eventually took him around the world. Muir's inventing career came to an abrupt end in 1867, when he lost an eye in an accident while working on one of his mechanical inventions. Thereafter, he focused his attention on natural history, exploring the American West, especially the Yosemite region of California. Muir traveled primarily on foot carrying only a minimum amount of food and a bedroll. In 1880 Muir married Louie Strentzel, the daughter of an Austrian who began the fruit and wine industry in California. One of the first explorers to postulate the role of glaciers in forming the Yosemite Valley, Muir also discovered a glacier in Alaska that later was named for him. His lively descriptions of many of the natural areas of the United States contributed to the founding of Yosemite National Park in 1890. His urge to preserve these areas for posterity led to his founding of the Sierra Club in 1892.

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