The diary he kept while tending sheep forms the heart of My First Summer in the Sierra; published in 1911, it enticed thousands of Americans to visit the Yosemite country. The book is full of the concerns Muir would later voice as America's foremost preservationist and wildlands advocate, which would bear fruit in the creation of several national parks and monuments.
John Muir (1838-1914) was born and raised in Dunbar, East Lothian. When his family emigrated to Wisconsin in 1849, young John was bought up to hard labour on his father's homestead. A natural inventor, he first discovered the joys of walking, and writing, after an industrial accident nearly blinded him. His journals, articles and lectures helped to develop international awareness of the need to preserve and protect the environment, and led to the foundation of the General Grant, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks in the US, as well as important conservation areas in his native East Lothian. John Muir has been honoured ever since as the father of the modern environment movement.