An important protector of the American wilderness, John Muir emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1849 and became a widely sought expert in botany, glaciers, and forestry. He also gained renown during his life as an explorer, naturalist, and conservationist. Best known for his long association with the Yosemite Valley and Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Muir also explored the southern states, Alaska, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert, and traveled around the world studying nature.
Constantly at odds with powerful political and financial interests, he was instrumental in creating federal protection for forests as well as the establishment and expansion of national parks. The wars he waged are still being fought and the threats to the environment he encountered are as real today as they were in his time. Muir’s ideas are still relevant to the lives of Americans. Muir is remembered as the founder of the Sierra Club, the father of America’s conservation movement, and the architect of an ever growing environmental ethic. Larry Fahn, president of the Sierra Club, has called Rod Miller’s biography, “a fascinating new take on a true American icon. John Muir comes alive again in Rod Miller’s Magnificent Tramp.”