John Muir



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Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

"The forests growing on the western slope of the Sierra are by far the most destructible of the natural wealth of California, but they are being rapidly and ruthlessly destroyed, as if, like a larger kind of pernicious weeds, every available means at the command of far-seeing, enterprising people should be set in motion to eradicate them .... While in their natural condition, or under wise management ... these forests would be a perennial fountain of wealth as well as beauty." After detailing the destruction of the forests by the lumbermen, Muir writes: "But these fire and axe ravages by the lumberman are as yet small compared with those of the 'sheepmen."' ... Incredible numbers of sheep are driven into the mountains every year, many more than there is food for. Not only are the moisture-absorbing grasses and flowers devoured ... but the bushes are stripped bare ... as if devoured by locusts." As Muir laments the "clean devastation that follows in the wake of the sheep men" he warns: "The axe is not yet at the foot of every tree, but the sheep is .... "


San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, June29, 1889


p. 1, col. 6

Forests of the Sierra. The Destruction that is Being Wrought in the Mountains. John Muir's Protest against the Wantoness of the Sheep-Herder and Lumberma-Value of the Forests.



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