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Maggie Shiels reports
"John Muir will be forever linked with Yosemite National Park"
 real 28k

BBC Scotland's Morag Kinniburgh reports
"Muir fought the government and traders in his bid to protect wild spaces"
 real 28k

Friday, 21 April, 2000, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Scots conservationist remembered
Path work
The John Muir Trust at work on a path in Knoydart
John Muir day, named after the Scot who became one of the world's most influential conservationists, is being celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic..

His writings have made him famous in America, where he later made his home, though his achievements are also being celebrated in Scotland.

An exhibition of his life and work is being shown at his birthplace in Dunbar, East Lothian as part of a festival in recognition of the town's famous son, while the John Muir Trust is hosting events around the country.
John Muir
John Muir: Little known in Scotland

But it is in the sunshine state of California that the Scot has really left his mark.

Perhaps the most obvious legacy of the man who left Dunbar as an 11-year-old in 1849 is Yosemite National Park.

With three million visitors every year, the park will be forever linked with John Muir.

Founding father

His writings and lobbying laid the foundations for the campaign which established Yosemite as the first state national park in the world.

The author of the book, On The Trail of John Muir, Dr Cherry Good, highlighted the role played by Muir in the history of conservation in the States.

She said: "He is recognised as the founding father of national park system, he made the first solo climbs of a considerable number of mountains in California, and he was one of the founders of the Sierra club here."

Such is Muir's standing among Californian conservationists, his house there has been preserved for the public, buildings there carry his name, and annual festivals pay homage to his work.
Yosemite
John Muir helped found Yosemite National Park

Seth Adams, the winner of this year's John Muir conservation award, acknowledged the debt today's environmentalists owe John Muir.

He said: "I was reading Muir when I was in Junior High.

"The woods where I grew up have gone, they've all been sub-divided and built on.

"So I wanted to make sure the places I love are around for future generations and for me."

Ben Nevis

The Scot has not been entirely forgotten in his homeland, however.

Most recently, the John Muir Trust made the news when it was announced it would be taking over the ownership of Ben Nevis and the surrounding area.

John Muir's grandson, 77-year-old Ross Hannah, insists that his grandfather never forgot Scotland either.

"He always considered himself a Scot," he said.

"He loved Robert Burns and always carried a booklet of his poems around. And he always sought out other Scotsmen," he added.

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04 Apr 00 | Scotland
Ben Nevis set to change hands
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