Great Evils from Destruction of Forests.

Great Evils from Destruction of Forests.


John Muir


Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

Muir was invited to write for the Real Estate Circular on the destruction of the forests. He begins his discussion by saying: ""Our coniferous forests growing so luxuriantly along our mountain ranges, are by far the most precious and indispensable, and at the same time the most destructible of the three main divisions of our natural wealth; and were the real value at all appreciated and understood-how they affect climate, act as barriers against destructive floods, protect and hold in store the fertilizing rain and snow, and form foundations for the irrigating rivers-they would be guarded by the government with most jealous care, instead of being left exposed, as they are, to the mercy of every vagrant hunter and sheep-owner who cares to destroy them for pleasure or paltry personal gain."" Muir details how the forests are being destroyed, the dire consequences that will most certainly follow, and offers as ""the only remedy"" the banning of ""running fires, sheep, and the axe ... above 6000 or 7000 feet."" Muir emphasizes:"" ... the motto should be, the sheepmen must go!"" To enforce this drastic step he proposes the formation of a Commission of Forestry, and concludes, ""Barn burning and the firing of grain fields should not be considered so criminal as the firing of the forests.""


San Francisco Real Estate Circular, v. 14, no. 6


P. 2



Great Evils from Destruction of Forests.