Thursday, April 23, 2015

100 years on, Muir’s Wisconsin no more

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and n...
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and nature preservationist John MuirPhoto credit: Wikipedia)
It has been 100 years since the death of John Muir. A century ago this past Christmas Eve, one of the nation’s most beloved naturalists died from pneumonia in a Los Angeles hospital. Raised on a farm between Montello and Portage, Muir pioneered efforts to create the National Park Service, co-founded the Sierra Club, and authored hundreds of publications. His work inspired a fountain of namesakes on Earth and beyond. Yes, even a main-belt asteroid bears his moniker—128523 Johnmuir.

In the decades following his death, Wisconsin served Muir’s legacy proud, rising to become a national leader in environmental protection and natural resource stewardship, delicately balancing these two aims through commonsense, evidence-based solutions. Leaders not only fiercely strove to protect the state’s natural areas but also harness its resource endowments in a measured and sustainable way.

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