What is the Sierra Club?
The Sierra Club was founded on May 28 1892 by John Muir with the mission statement “To explore, enjoy and protect the planet. To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.”
John Muir lead the Sierra Club through political action, preservation fights, and promotion of nature conservation. In 1892, the club held its first conservation campaign defeating the proposed idea to reduce the boundaries of Yosemite National Park.
As the Sierra Club grew to several hundred members, it drew national attention and caught the eye of President Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt visited Yosemite with John Muir in 1903 and hiked Kern Canyon while Muir convinced him of the importance of creating more national parks.
Through the years of Muir’s presidency in the Sierra Club, the club had many victories including getting the California legislature to agree to return Yosemite Valley to federal management, getting California legislation appropriating $10,000 for construction of the John Muir Trail to pass, and getting Congress to establish Mt. Rainier National Park.
Today, the Sierra Club still exists in John Muir’s legacy. There are currently 64 Sierra Club chapters nationwide with over 3 million members. They go on over 20,000 trips a year and have 250 million acres of land they are in pursuit to protect.