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Harold W. Wood, Jr.

Harold W. Wood, Jr. with California Quarter
  • Retired government attorney, independent John Muir scholar, presenter and author. and long-time Sierra Club activist. Contact:
  • After reading John Muir's books while he was in junior high school, Wood joined the Sierra Club in 1968 as a teenager, and has been active in it from then to the present. His Sierra Club volunteer work was featured in a Sierra Club website feature, Steeped in Muir, a Volunteer Finds His Niche by Tom Valtin (February 24, 2020).
  • Co-founded in 1994, and since 1996 he is the volunteer Webmaster for the Sierra Club's John Muir Exhibit website.

  • Since December 2002, served as volunteer Webmaster for the John Muir Global Network, ( ) an indepenedent website featuring John Muir from a global perspective.
  • Available as a public speaker on John Muir generally, including illustrated presentations, including: "John Muir's Continuing Inspiration," "John Muir Around the World," "John Muir and the Animal Kingdom," and "John Muir in India." He is also available for workshops to discuss how to use the inspirational story of John Muir in education.

  • C-Span aired a presentation by Wood on the legacy of John Muir made for the California Historical Society on November 13, 2014. View it online on the C-Span American History TV website: Conservationist John Muir presented by Harold Wood, introduced by Doug McConnell. A brief excerpt is included on a Facebook video of John Muir as the Father of Modern Ecology published by "Brut Nature."

  • Frequently assists students on their History Day projects focused on John Muir or Hetch Hetchy, or other Muir-related topics such as wilderness preservation, the California State Quarter, and the importance of our National Parks.
  • In the Nineteen-Sixties, while a high school student, he joined the Sierra Club and avidly followed the history-making events establishing new national parks and the passage of the landmark Wilderness Act. In the Seventies, while attending college and graduate school, he worked on grassroots efforts (through the Club's Cascade Chapter and other organizations) to pass wilderness legislation in California and Washington State, which included congressional establishment of the Clearwater Wilderness in Washington, and efforts supporting the Alaska Lands Act. In the Eighties, he worked on international environmental issues like tropical rainforests while serving on the Sierra Club's International Committee, as well as local issues such as oak tree preservation in his home town of Visalia, California, while serving on the city's Beautification Committee. In the Nineties he focused on environmental education and the Sierra Club John Muir Education Committee. In the Oughts, he was a founding member of the organization Restore Hetch Hetchy, serving on its board for five years, including four years as President, and as its webmaster. He now serves on the Advisory Committee of the group. In the Tens, he concentrated on the issue of global climate change and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, noting especially that reforestation and protecting existing ecosystems is one of the best ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

  • Harold's latest environmental project is focused on advocacy for environmentally sustainable death-care options and the preservation of natural areas through Green Burial (which was also inspired by John Muir, in his writings about death.) He authored "Green Burial and Conservation Cemeteries" as a feature article in Pantheist Vision, Vol., 37, No. 2, Summer, 2020 (PDF on A version of his customizable presentation on Green Burial: Avoiding the Carbon Footprint of Conventional Burial, Cremation, and the Lawn Cemetery (PDF) (originally presented to the Sierra Club, Buena Vista Group on March 7, 2020) is offered to other community groups, including Sierra Club groups and chapters.

  • Throughout his environmental career, Wood has maintained an interest in Environmental and Wilderness Preservation History.
  • Supported the Sierra Club's Sequoia Task Force, the Presidential Proclamation of Giant Sequoia National Monument in 2000, and has been a long-time advocate for wilderness in Sequoia National Forest.
  • Founder of the Green Sanctuary Program for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia, and later served as President and Webmaster for the Fellowship. The Green Sanctuary program promotes environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and environmental justice. He gave numerous presentations on environmental topics of interest to people regarding of religious orientation or lack thereof. His presentations to Unitarians include, along with other environmental topics, "John Muir as Spiritual Guide, ", "John Muir's Spiritual Journey," (also presented to the Philosophers for Peace organization with the title ÒJohn Muir: Nature Mystic and Wilderness Campaigner.Ó
  • He has received several awards from local and national environmental organizations, including the year 2000 Friend of the Oak Award from the Visalia Beautification Committee for his efforts on the Oak Tree Preservation Ordinance; the 2000 Sierra Cup Award from the Sierra Club Kern Kaweah Chapter; and in 2000 he was the recipient of the national Sierra Club's "Special Achievement Award." He received the John Muir Association's John Muir Conservation Award in 1996.
  • Harold Wood was a featured guest on's Champagne Sundays Online Radio Show. This show was a special Eco & Environment show that aired live on April 6th, 2008.

  • Presented a discussion on "John Muir - Nature Mystic and Wilderness Campaigner" to the annual meeting of the Concerned Philosophers for Peace in Yosemite (2013).
  • Harold was interviewed and quoted extensively in a recent feature on the "How Stuff Works" webzine, How John Muir Helped Pave the Way for the National Park System, by Michelle Konstantinovsky (May 5, 2021).

  • "John Muir Was Not a Hiker" - Video Interview of Harold Wood by the Irish Hiiker Podcast. (November 30, 2023). (YouTube)
  • Are You a Planet Patriot? - Harold's personal website advocating responsible planetary citizenship, including brief descriptions and quotes from other inspirational planet patriots and authors including Ed Abbey, Raymond Dasmann, Aldo Leopold, Joseph Wood Krutch, Edwin Way Teale, and others. The site includes Planet Patriot Postage Stamps and Covers (featuring especially an extensive collection of collectible stamps and event covers featuring John Muir formerly hosted on this website), a listing of environmental holidays, and more.

  • Webmaster of Earth Songs - a collection of environmental songs (ecology music), albums, and song books with lyrics that promote the love and protection of the Earth. His website also includes a collection of Songs for World Peace.

  • An amateur photographer, Wood believes the two most important photographs of the 20th century are NASA's The Blue Marble, taken in 1972, and the Hubble Deep Field, taken in 1995. These two photographs prove a new paradigm: "we're all in this together." These photographs were foretold by John Muir when he wrote: " When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty."

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