John Muir



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Muir begins this article by recalling a curious incident of "seeing a horse laboring under furious excitement-snorting, groaning ... plunging back and forth in blind fury .... " The cause of this bewildering behavior was later found to have been a yellow jacket in the animal's ear. Muir compares this storm of wild commotion to the "storm of wild protests that came out of the west against the grand new forest reservations proclaimed by President Cleveland. I thought of that poor horse, and said, 'These men must have yellow jackets in their ears.' Gold stings worse than the wasps of the woods, and gives rise to far more unreasonable and unexplainable behavior." In spite of the vocal opposition from those who wish to plunder, Muir is confident that the great majority of the people favor the protection of the forests by the government. Muir discusses the aims of the National Forestry commission, giving high praise to the qualifications of its members, and details the course and extent of the survey made. He concludes that "not only should all the reserves established be maintained, but that every remaining acre of unentered forest-bearing land ... should be reserved, protected, and administered by the Federal Government for the public good forever.''


Harper's. Weekly, v. 41, no. 211


pp. 563-567

The National Parks and Forest Reservations



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