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Words for Wilderness - a Program of Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge
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Introduction by Carl Pope

The frontier closed in 1890. Since that moment, we have carried on a dialogue among ourselves, wondering,

Do we want America wild or tamed?

The great environmental visionaries: Muir, Leopold, Marshall, Zahnhiser and the Wilderness Act, Brower, the Sierra Club and the Grand Canyon, Wayburn and the Redwoods and Alaska, and the bitter counterattacks: Secretary Lane damming Hetchy , "Give-Away" Doug Mackay in the 50's,, James Watt, the Wise Use Movement, and now the Bush Administration -- are important for what they saved, or failed to save.

More important they were part of a conversation about the future, part of a pause, a century of reconsideration.

We have lost more, much more, during this pause. The old growth of the Cascades hammered, the hardwoods of the Mississippi Valley disked into soybeans, the Everglades replumbed, virtually every fishery in crisis or collapse.

But, I believe we have come to the end of our dialogue and uncertainty.

We will reclaim that part of our national character that Frederick Jackson Turner told us came from the frontier.

We will be Americans.

We will have wildness.

- Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope

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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:

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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