Stephen Mather – Father of the National Parks

There is an excellent article in the Fall 2011 issue of National Parks, the magazine of the National Parks Conservation Association, by Kate Siber, titled The Visionaries.

An excerpt:

During Mather’s wanderings in the mountains, he encountered the famous naturalist John Muir, who spoke of grave threats to the wilderness. In 1914, two years later, Mather was so inspired by Muir’s devotion and horrified by the persistence of loggers eyeing the sequoias of Yosemite that he sent an indignant 26-page missive to Franklin K. Lane, the secretary of the Interior and fellow Berkeley alumnus, detailing the sorry state of the national parks. Lane famously responded with one sentence:

 “Dear Steve, If you don’t like the way the national parks are being run, come on down to Washington and run them yourself.”

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