A century after John Muir’s death, Glen MacDonald examines his legacy and argues that while Muir’s message of the value of wilderness to society might need to evolve for a twenty-first century audience, it is still relevant. For instance, Muir believed in the transformative power of visiting remote wildernesses such as Yosemite and urged everyone to do so, and his conception of nature preservation as preserving nature in a specific moment in time is now understood to be misguided. His specific prescriptions for relating to the natural world now seem old-fashioned, but his core values and his passion for getting Californians out in nature is just as important today, whether those natural places are national parks or city parks.
John Muir: A century on
Glen M. MacDonald holds the John Muir Memorial Chair and is a distinguished professor of geography, ecology, and evolutionary biology, and in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Biogeography: Space, Time and Life. His research focuses on climatic and environmental change.
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Glen M. MacDonald; John Muir: A century on. Boom 1 September 2014; 4 (3): 60–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2014.4.3.60
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