Y — Yosemite
John Muir on a USA commemorative stamp, 1964.
One of the earliest pioneers of the conservation movement was John Muir (1838-1914).
His work on the geological origins of Yosemite, his tireless travelling and his passion for natural habitats led him to lay the foundations of the national parks system in the USA.
He also raised awareness about the importance of preserving natural heritage for future generations.
John Muir first discovered the Yosemite Valley in 1868 after returning to California from a 1,000 mile-walk that took him from Indiana to Florida and Cuba.
On seeing it for the first time he wrote: 'no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life'. His lifelong interest in the valley culminated in the publication of his finely illustrated volume, 'The Yosemite', in 1912.
Muir's involvement in the conservation issues of his time left an enduring legacy that continues to inspire environmental activists around the world.
Protecting the environment and our natural resources in a sustainable way is now a global concern that ranks very high in the political and economic agenda of the 21st century.
An ABC of Scotland
Yosemite was just one of the 'Y' topics in our alphabetical exhibition celebrating some of the outstanding achievements by Scotland and Scots.
'Wha's like us?' ran from 13 December 2013 to 18 May 2014.