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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
John Muir heads Californian coin
The Californian state quarter, featuring Muir against the Yosemite Valley
A 25 cent coin marking the achievements of the conservationist John Muir is to be issued in California next year.

State governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chose the coin featuring the famous Scot from 20 designs.

Mr Muir, who was born in Dunbar in East Lothian, emigrated with his family when he was a child and developed his interest in the outdoors.

He became renowned for his network of national parks and began with Yosemite in the Golden state.

Mr Schwarzenegger said: "John Muir has been a role model to generations of Californians and to conservationists around the world."

He said Mr Muir was the father of the conservation movement, encouraging people to protect, as well as enjoy, California's parks, beaches and mountains.

The design created by Los Angeles graphic artist Garrett Burke, 42, was one of 8,000 initially put forward to the California quarter selection committee as part of the 50 State Quarters Programme.

The governor chose the design out of a final list of 20 and it will be issued in January.

Mr Burke, a self-declared nature enthusiast, said: "I'm thrilled with the outcome."

However, Mr Muir and the Yosemite Valley were the "real stars", he added.

The Californian State Librarian Kevin Starr called Mr Muir a non-divisive "healing, reconciling figure" in California.

More than two billion of the coins will be in circulation and the US Mint estimates an average quarter's commercial life at 30 years.

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