John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was the famed Scotsman who persuaded the US president to save and protect America’s wildest open spaces.
Few Scots have made such a long-lasting impression on America as John Muir. Even now, 180 years after his birth, he is remembered as the ‘Father of the National Parks’.
Young John Muir arrived from East Lothian with his family in 1849. He soon dedicated his life in the US to sharing his passion for nature.
Muir became an evangelist for the great outdoors, preaching his message of conservation through his evocative writing; warning against encroaching development and the impact of farming on wild spaces.
All the while he encouraged people to get outside and lose themselves in the wonder and beauty of the natural world.
Muir’s campaigning played a key role in establishing Yosemite in California, as a National Park and he lobbied successfully for the creation of further protected parks.
Among those who listened to the Scot was President Roosevelt.
In 1903 Muir escorted him on a three-day trip into the wilds of his beloved Yosemite, using the time to convince the politician of the need to preserve the country’s spectacular wide open spaces.
Source: BBC Scotland.