Sigurd Olson and John Muir Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  492 Words
Date:  2022-08-23

Sigurd Olson is among the most influential and notable conservations globally in the 20th century. He was a nature writer and some of his most famous books include The Singing Wilderness, Reflections from the North Country, and The Hidden Forest among others. He wrote more than five books regarding the northern Minnesota North Woods wilderness. Throughout his life, his called for the conservation of national parks, water bodies, forests, and wilderness areas. Sigurd Olson has been associated with authors such as Muir, Beston, Burroughs, and Muir. However, the writer he compares with most directly is Muir.

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David Backes, in the Sigurd Olson biography, states that Sigurd was the second Muir. He lists some of the similarities between the two. The first one is in their theology, both arise from the wonderful, joyful, and direct experiences they have had with nature. In their writings, they reflect the wonderful experiences they have had with nature (Northern Lights 1; Wood, Ellen, & Harold 1). The second similarity is in their evangelism, both of them are intent on making people know the sacredness of nature and how everyone is connected to and is part of nature (Olson 58). In a National Parks Magazine published in 1946, Sigurd says, "Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium. We Need Wilderness" (Wilderness Quotations 3). In Sleep Trails, published in 1875, John Muir states, "Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity, and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers but as fountains of life" (Wilderness Quotations 7). The message they convey is that the destruction of nature is the destruction of humanity. It is therefore not surprising when Olson received the John Muir Award in 1967.

Marshall Watkins was a collector of John Muir's works. Olson had written a letter to Watkins telling him that the person who had influenced him most more than anyone else was John Muir. Olson himself admits having read Muir's works when he was a youth (Sigurd 1). In Open Horizons (an autobiography of Sigurd Olson), Olson ascribes much importance to John Muir. The Library Journal reviewed Open Horizons and stated that Sigurd's adventures and works had a freshness and vibrancy that was similar to the writings of John Muir.

Works Cited

"Northern Lights." Northern Lights. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2018.

Olson, Sigurd F. Reflections from the North Country. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 1998. Print.

"Sigurd F. Olson." Sigurd Olson - People Influenced by John Muir - John Muir Exhibit - Sierra Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2018.

"Wilderness Quotations - UW Faculty Web Server." N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2018.

Wood, Ellen A., & Harold. "Living People Influenced by John Muir." Living People Influenced by John Muir - John Muir Exhibit. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2018.

Cite this page

Sigurd Olson and John Muir Essay Example. (2022, Aug 23). Retrieved from

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