John Muir: “Do we really know this man?”


Sounds like the perfect candidate to helm Jeff Gahan’s parks department, especially the doggie water slide division, as it’s built atop a sacred Native American ground.

Dog daze: With Gahan back in the safe house, civilian architect Timperman now is the city’s official spokesman.

But enough of that, Here’s Johnny …

The Miseducation of John Muir, by Justin Nobel (Atlas Obscura)

A close examination of the wilderness icon’s early travels reveal a deep love for trees, and some ugly feelings about people.

… The problem for Muir, for the National Park Service, for all of us, is that America was never a blank slate. And we know now Muir’s story was wrong. As new research by ecologists like Kat Anderson, of University of California Davis, shows, Native Americans in California, including those in Yosemite Valley, intentionally used fire to open land, increase pasturage, prevent even larger more catastrophic fires, and promote biodiversity. Muir’s sacred Yosemite was not a garden tended by God, as he wrote so passionately about, it was a garden tended by Native people.

Muir’s blurry human vision is something Native writers and historians have been grappling with for some time. “We do not know why Muir was blind regarding the original people in all of the beautiful National Park locations he waxed about so eloquently,” wrote Native author Roy Cook. “Indian people are the true conscience of the American character.”