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David R. Brower

David Brower 1912 - 2000  
  • First Executive Director of the Sierra Club, frequently quoted Muir, and encouraged modern recognition of his legacy.
  • David Brower was a leading figure in campaigns to keep dams out of Dinosaur National Monument and the Grand Canyon; and to promote establishment of the Wilderness Act of 1964, and Redwood and North Cascades National Parks.
  • Brower, when asked in an interview how he was introduced to wilderness, said: "Through the reading of John Muir. Muir told me about wilderness."
  • In documentary films and writings, Brower encouraged others to appreciate and protect wilderness. Brower created the Sierra Club's Exhibit Format series of coffee-table books - the first of their kind.
  • Sometimes controversial for his decisive stands in favor of environnmental protection, Brower was profiled in John McPhee's excellent book, Encounters with the Arch-Druid.
  • Brower wrote many essays and book introductions, including introductions for Gentle Wilderness, photographs by Richard Kauffman and text by John Muir, and the Sierra Club Library edition of Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra.
  • On his death in 2000, Dave Phillips, Executive Director of Earth Island Institute, said, "Dave Brower is a latter-day John Muir."
  • Brower was one of four modern environmentalists who shared Muir's vision profiled in the recent National Geographic Society book, John Muir: Nature's Visionary by Gretel Ehrlich.
  • After leaving the Sierra Club, Brower founded Friends of the Earth, the John Muir Institute, and the Earth Island Institute. In his last year of his life, he was a founding board member of Restore Hetch Hetchy, a campaign organization urging the restoration of the valley that Muir fought a losing campaign to save. John Muir inspired Brower to advocate restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley (off-site link).

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