David Brower and the Sierra Club Essay

David Brower and the Sierra Club Essay

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David Brower was a conservationist, mountain climber, a person of conviction
who loved the wilderness. As a skilled mountain climber, he made the first of seventy routes in
Yosemite and later went on to climb Shiprock in 1939, which at the time was known as “the
last great American climbing problem.” He was a prominent environmentalist and founder of
many environmental organizations, the most well known was The Sierra Club Foundation. He
later went on to establish, among many others, the Friends of Earth (FOE) in 1969 and the Earth
Island Institute in 1982.
It was his dream to preserve the environment, not only for his descendants but for future
generations. This dream was inspired by the work of John Muir (1838-1914), an
environmentalist and Scottish-born American naturalist who was the founder of The Sierra Club
(not to be confused with The Sierra Club Foundation) in 1862. The Sierra Club is one of the
most important conservationist organizations in the United States. David was elected the first
Executive Director and served from 1952 until 1969. He also served on their Board of Directors
three times: from 1941-1953; 1983-1988; and then from 1995-2000. He, as well as Muir, was
considered to be one of the greatest conservationists in America.
The Sierra Club was responsible for establishing The National Park System, which
has been beneficial in preserving wilderness areas all across the United States. There were
several preservation projects attributed to their club. The first was the fight against the Echo Park
Dam in Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument, where conservationists successfully lobbied
Congress to delete Echo Park Dam from the Colorado River Project in 1955. Other projects

... middle of paper ...

...nd flew to Denver
in June 200 for the Green Party convention and cast his absentee ballot for Nader the day before
he died (November 5, 2000).
As Katharine Lee Bates wrote in her song, America the Beautiful, “for Purple Mountain
majesties - above the fruited plain – America, America – God shed His grace on thee – and
crown thy good with brotherhood – from sea to shining sea”, this is what Brower and
organizations such as The Sierra Club, Friends of Earth and the Earth Island Institute fought
to protect for generations to come – true “brotherhood” , the best of America’s best.


Video (as seen in class): Monumental: David Brower’s Fight for Wild America
http:// www.sierraclub.org/foundation/

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