, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness
in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley
, Sequoia National Park
and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club
, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.
I used to envy the father of our race, dwelling as he did in contact with the new-made fields and plants of Eden; but I do so no more, because I have discovered that I also live in "creation's dawn." The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.
"The water in music the oar forsakes." The air in music the wing forsakes. All things in move in music and write it. The mouse, lizard, and grasshopper sing together on the Turlock sands, sing with the morning stars.
In God's wildness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.
Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.
Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.