David Brower And The Sierra Club

943 words - 4 pages

David Brower was a conservationist, mountain climber, a person of conviction
who loved the wilderness. As a skilled mountain climber, he made the first of seventy routes in
Yosemite and later went on to climb Shiprock in 1939, which at the time was known as “the
last great American climbing problem.” He was a prominent environmentalist and founder of
many environmental organizations, the most well known was The Sierra Club Foundation. He
later went on to establish, among many others, the Friends of Earth (FOE) in 1969 and the Earth
Island Institute in 1982.
It was his dream to preserve the environment, not only for his descendants but for future
generations. This dream was inspired by the work of John Muir (1838-1914), an
environmentalist and Scottish-born American naturalist who was the founder of The Sierra Club
(not to be confused with The Sierra Club Foundation) in 1862. The Sierra Club is one of the
most important conservationist organizations in the United States. David was elected the first
Executive Director and served from 1952 until 1969. He also served on their Board of Directors
three times: from 1941-1953; 1983-1988; and then from 1995-2000. He, as well as Muir, was
considered to be one of the greatest conservationists in America.
The Sierra Club was responsible for establishing The National Park System, which
has been beneficial in preserving wilderness areas all across the United States. There were
several preservation projects attributed to their club. The first was the fight against the Echo Park
Dam in Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument, where conservationists successfully lobbied
Congress to delete Echo Park Dam from the Colorado River Project in 1955. Other projects
included the Redwood Forest and the Northern Cascades, in which they halted a logging and
mining projects which would have destroyed them as we see them today.


Although there were many projects attributed to the Sierra Club, one of the more
famous ones was when the Bureau of Reclamation planned to flood the Grand Canyon
in 1968. This was intended to make millions on water that would flow out to other regions,
however, David Brower was able to negotiate with the government in putting a halt to the
project. This was also known as the Central Arizona Project. He was on a one man mission to
preserve the best of what was left of America. Even though it was against the law in Arizona to
be a conservationist, he had no problem standing up to the government and fighting
for what he believed in, and would not give up until he had done all he could to preserve the
environment.
Even though the Sierra Club did a lot of wonderful work in preserving several
National Parks, there were conflicts as well. One such conflict grew over the Club’s position
on the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which was planned by the Pacific Gas and Electric
(PG&E) near San Luis Obispo, California. The Club’s board of...

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