(1838 - 1914)
The founder and first president of the Sierra Club, John Muir never tired of defending the wilderness against its enemies in Congress. During the summer of 1897, his passionate essays for Harper’s Weekly and The Atlantic shifted the balance of public opinion in favor of President Grover Cleveland’s proposal to establish thirteen nature reserves. Muir’s parable on behalf of the Hetch Hetchy Valley fell on stony ground. The Raker Act of 1913 flooded the valley, and the O’Shaughnessy Dam was completed in 1923.