Essay on Heroes of the canyon

Submitted By Gobindud
Words: 1680
Pages: 7

Sean Stellhorn
Lee Marie Hotchkiss
English 1A
March 29, 2014
Heroes of the Wilderness
A hero is someone who works to change things toward a certain ideal or succeeds in making change, usually to the benefit of many others besides him or herself. Heroes come in just about every form and almost every group or cause has its heroes. One of the definitions for a hero is that they are someone who is “admired for qualities and achievements and is regarded as an ideal or model.’’ (New World Dictionary) There have been many men and women who can be considered to be heroes for the National Parks, because they sought change, preservation, appreciation and protection for our National Parks
Edward Abbey was. All of these heroes sought to establish, preserve or improve the parks, for the benefit of the public, so that anyone could experience and understand the love affair with the wilderness, and felt that they should be pass on to and enjoyed by everyone for generations to come. They also sought to educate people by using their own forms of expression and influence such as writing and photographs of these natural treasures. Their motivations were not just in the public interest, but also had more selfish goals in mind. All of these people felt it necessary to fight for the protection of the parks because they had formed intimate bonds with the places that they tried to save. Edward Abbey, yet another hero of the parks, expressed it best in his book “The Journey Home”, meaning that deep feeling that you belong with this landscape in some way. It is a Connection between nature and the soul that makes you feel as though you must belong here and nowhere else on earth, no matter where that place is. Abbey says, “every man, everywoman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary’’ and that “there is no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment.’’ Meaning that everyone holds inside them the vision of their one true home, and for those who were lucky enough to find it and hold on to it, they were willing to battle for its wellbeing, as anyone would for their home. (Abbey)
John Muir pushed for establishment of national Parks, and used his talents to write eloquent books about the wonder of the wilderness and the importance of establishing some kind of protection for it. He also founded the Sierra Club, which has also had a hand in protection for it. His reasons for concern were because he had spent many years wandering through that would become various parks and had found an extreme closeness with and fondness for those lands, and felt it very important to save them from civilization and ultimate destruction. John Muir Felt strongly that Yosemite in particular was home for him, and went back many times over the years. (Muir Video - Youtube) When I read portions of his book, Our National Pars, I found that the detailed descriptions of flora and fauna in the passages made me eager to explore their depths. In his writings on Yosemite, Muir entices me with passages such as this,
“Coming in vapor from the sea, flying invisible on the wind, descending in snow, changing to ice, white, spirit like, they brood outspread over the predestined landscapes, working on unwearied through unmeasured ages, until in the fullness of time the mountains and valleys are bought forth, channels furrowed for the rivers, basins made for meadows and lakes, and soil beds spread for the forests and fields that man and beast may be fed.’’ (Muir)
Certainly, the book had the same effect on the people who read it at the time it was published, namely Theodore Roosevelt, because the beauty of his writing is timeless and touching, much like the lands he spoke of. The persuasiveness and description of his musing not only has influenced many to go and see and experience the parks, but also influenced the people who were instrumental in the development of the National Parks