On the Eve of the LeConte Memorial Lodge Centennial
Introduction by Dr. Bonnie J. Gisel, Curator
July 2, 2004
LeConte Memorial Lodge
On the eve of the centennial, good evening to you all and welcome to LeConte
Memorial Lodge, the Sierra Club's home in Yosemite National Park. I would like
to share a few thoughts with you before I introduce this evening's distinguished
Let me first thank everyone who has assisted in the preparation and planning
of this glorious centennial event, especially George Pettit and Richard and
Billie Jean Wiebe and the Wiebe Foundation - without their support and hard
work we would not be here tonight.
I would also like to welcome Mr. And Mrs. John LeConte. John and Lorraine
drove up from southern California to be with us this weekend. John is the great-grandson
of Joseph LeConte and the grandson of Joseph Nisbet LeConte. We are pleased
that he and Lorraine are able to be with us on this occasion.
Finally, permit me to dedicate the centennial of the LeConte Memorial Lodge
to change - to change of heart. LeConte Memorial Lodge has enlisted one hundred
years of service to Yosemite Valley and Yosemite National Park on behalf of
nature and wilderness. In these one hundred years our relationship with the
natural world has taken many steps forward, but some steps backwards - it is
as if within each of us a battle is waged to recognize and sustain a right
relationship with nature and wilderness - and we stumble in our ability to
make the best decisions on behalf of the natural world - flora and fauna, mountains,
rivers, and watersheds, deserts, fields, and forests.
The battle is not only within each of us individually - in terms of reaching
a true recognition of sustainability - leave all better than you find it -
there is also the battle between us, rather than united we often find ourselves
divided, unable to make reasonable choices - the right thing to do.
Let us then — here and now-pledge this night and this weekend-upon the
convictions, the faith of our ancestors - those who came before us to this
mountain temple - let us pledge to move and keep moving toward a more sustainable
world, to strengthen our relation with nature, and to slow down enough to really
enjoy it, explore and protect it. May we find strength in each other and in
and through nature, may we share our stories, our love, and teach the good
lessons we find here.
One hundred years have passed since this door to LeConte Memorial Lodge was
first open - let us continue to open this door and open the gift of nature
and wilderness we have received. Dr. Joseph LeConte lifted his heart in humble
worship to Nature and in the midst of the overwhelming grandeur of Nature,
wanted never to forget the gift of wilderness - may we saunter quietly and
humbling in his footsteps.
After the foregoing introduction, Tom Arfsten, Frank Helling and Steve Pauly
Galen Clark, John Muir and Joseph LeConte
Learn more about the LeConte Lodge Centennial.
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Information and Donations
For more information, during the summer contact Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge
Curator, P.O. Box 755, Yosemite, CA 95389, 1-209-372-4542; e-mail:
During the winter, contact LeConte Lodge Committee Chair, Harold Wood, P.O. Box 3543,
Visalia, CA 93278; phone: (559) 697-3525; e-mail: email@example.com
Tax deductible donations to support the new exhibits and renovation efforts of the
LeConte Memorial can be made to "Sierra Club Foundation," marked for the "LeConte Lodge Fund."
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