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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread. Places to play in and pray in. When Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty hunger is made manifest in our beautiful national parks. Nature’s sublime wonderlands. John Muir
I will follow my instincts. Be myself for good or ill. And see what will be the upshot. As long as I live I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, and storm and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild pathdoms, and get as near to the heart of the world as I can. John Muir
How far destruction may go is not easy to guess. John Muir
That anyone would try to destroy such a place seems incredible. But sad experiences shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. John Muir
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and instead of lifting their eyes to the god of the mountains, lift them to the almighty dollar. John Muir
The tendency nowadays to wander in wilderness is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. That wildness is a necessity, and that mountain parks and reservations are useful ... as fountains of life. John Muir
One of the best bits of national achievement. Theodore Roosevelt
We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune. Theodore Roosevelt
There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred. Theodore Roosevelt
Keep this great wonder of Nature as it now is. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve it. The ages have been at work at it and man can only mar it. Theodore Roosevelt
Ordinarily, the man who loves the woods and mountains, the trees, the flowers, and the wild things, has in him some indefinable quality of charm, which appeals even to those sons of civilization who care for little outside of paved streets and brick walls. John Muir was a fine illustration of this rule. He was by birth a Scotchman – a tall and spare man, with the poise and ease natural to him who has lived much alone under conditions of labour and hazard. He was a dauntless soul, and also one brimming over with friendliness and kindliness.
He was emphatically a good citizen. Not only are his books delightful, not only is he the author to whom all men turn when they think of the Sierras and northern glaciers, and the giant trees of the California slope, but he was also – what few nature lovers are – a man able to influence contemporary thought and action on the subjects to which he had devoted his life. He was a great factor in influencing the thought of California and the thought of the entire country so as to secure the preservation of those great natural phenomena – wonderful canyons, giant trees, slopes of flower-spangled hillsides – which make California a veritable Garden of the Lord. Theodore Roosevelt, ‘John Muir: An Appreciation’ Outlook vol 109, 16 January 1915
No man was more influential than John Muir in preserving the Sierra’s integrity. If I were to choose a single Californian to occupy the Hall of Fame, it would be this tenacious Scot who became a Californian during the final forty-six years of his life. It was John Muir whose knowledge wedded to zeal led men and governments to establish the National Park Service. Yosemite and Sequoia in California, the Petrified forest and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and the glacier wilderness of Alaska are what they are today largely because of this one man, in whom learning and love were co-equal. More than any other, he was the answer to that call which appears on the Courts Building in Sacramento: Give me men to match my mountains. Lawrence Clark Powell
[William Henry] Jackson’s photographs and [Thomas] Moran’s watercolours had an entirely unexpected outcome. Congressmen in Washington were so impressed by the spectacular images that they passed a bill designating the Yellowstone region America’s first national park. Andrew Graham-Dixon, Art of America 1/3, BBC 2011
Rochester: he called it A Ramble in St James’s. He described the park of night teeming with men and women of all ranks, all of them up to no good ... Buggeries, rapes and incest. Dr Lucy Worsley, Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls III: Act Three: At Work and at Play, BBC 2012
The park lies directly downwind from a slew of coal plants. Virtually all of the major contaminants in the local air and water are direct results of coal emissions. Coal produces ozone, which kills trees. Coal produces sulfates, which kill fish. No other park in the country has more ozone or sulfates than Shenandoah National Park. Wil S Hylton
For the first time a park meant not the private estate of some aristocrat but a public place in a town without barriers of class or property, laid out like here in Birkenhead in the 1840s with ponds and brambles and lawns. Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Forces of Nature, BBC 2000
Sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy. William Wordsworth, re Lake District
George Melendez Wright was saviour of wildlife in America’s national parks. Ernest Ortega
The best idea we’ve ever had. Wallace Stegner
Parks are like going home. Shelton Johnson, Park Ranger
How did we as a people get here? I think that when people go to a National Park they get a sense of compass, to history. Shelton Johnson
A desire to fully invest my physical and my spiritual self in America. Shelton Johnson
They are a treasure house of Nature’s superlatives. 84 million acres of the most stunning landscapes anyone has ever seen. Ken Burns, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea: The Scripture of Nature 1851-1871, PBS 2009
Cathedrals of stone daily ornamented by cascading ribbons of water. ibid.
A geological wonderland with rivers that steam, mud that boils, amidst the greatest collection of geysers in the world. ibid.
They are more than a collection of rocks and trees and inspirational scenes from Nature ... An idea born in the United States. ibid.
The artist George Catlin ... called for the creation of a nation’s park. ibid.
Something totally unprecedented in human history – setting aside not a landscaped garden or a city park but a large tract of natural scenery for the future enjoyment of everyone. ibid.
It was all part, Muir said, of his unconditional surrender to Nature. The winds and cascading creeks seemed to sing an exalting chorus audible to anyone willing to listen. He contemplated the life of a raindrop. ibid.
A God who revealed Himself through Nature. ibid.
If Yosemite was a temple, he [John Muir] would become its high priest. ibid.
Yellowstone: Jim Bridger, another mountain man, had also told tales of the place. Ken Burns, The National Parks: Colter’s Hell 1871-1890
They gave names to the other geysers too. ibid.
An unimaginable strangeness and beauty. ibid.
On March 1st 1872 President Ulysses S Grant signed the Bill creating Yellowstone Park. ibid.
This would be a national park. The first national park in the history of the world. ibid.