Environmentalists possess a passion for nature and a conviction that humans are intruders who should be able to look, but not to interfere with, the environment. Famous Environmentalists played an important role in establishing support for Progressive Movement (1890 - 1920) and were closely associated with the American Conservation Movement.
Famous Environmentalists and Conservationists
The Conservation Movement and environmentalism came to the forefront during the Progressive Era, inspired by politicians, artists and writers - the Famous Environmentalists. These visionary Americans included men such as George Caitlin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Jackson Turner, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir and John LeConte. These Famous Environmentalists were responsible for alerting the American public to the consequences of American policies and industries that were destroying the natural resources of America. These Famous Environmentalists were responsible for awakening the conscience of Americans by promoting the philosophy of environmentalism and conservation. Ordinary Americans were galvanized into action by the realization that the America they knew and loved was disappearing before their very eyes leaving a legacy of devastation and destruction.
Famous Environmentalists: Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the most famous of the early environmentalists and one of the most active supporters of wilderness preservation and conservation. Theodore Roosevelt founded the Boone and Crockett Club with George Bird Grinnell in 1887. Its goal is to stem the loss of the nation’s natural resources and to conserve wildlife habitat by adopting a hunter-conservationist stand to publicize the consequences of over-harvesting game. When Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States he pledged to "substitute a planned and orderly development of our resources, in place of a haphazard striving for immediate profit." Roosevelt was true to his word and actively pursued soil and water conservation, and created over 200 national forests, parks and national monuments and fifty-three wildlife sanctuaries.
Famous Environmentalists: George Bird Grinnell
George Bird Grinnell (1849 – 1938) was an American writer, historian and naturalist. He first specialized in zoology and eventually became a prominent early conservationist and student of Native American life. George Bird Grinnell worked tirelessly on legislation to preserve the American buffalo.
Famous Environmentalists: The Boone and Crockett Club
The Boone and Crockett Club was aptly titled as the names of Daniel Boone (1734 – 1820) and David "Davy" Crockett (1786 - 1836) immediately conveyed the image of frontiersman, the pioneering folk heroes of the frontier and the wilderness. Davy Crockett was even known as the "King of the Wild Frontier".
Famous Environmentalists: Frederick Jackson Turner
American historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861 – 1932) published an essay in 1893 entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." He revealed that according to the 1890 census, the American wilderness and the frontier had finally disappeared due to the last waves of settlement. Turner believed the nation's natural drive and ambition would disappear along with its natural resources and promoted the idea that the remaining unspoiled lands had to be preserved for future generations of Americans.
Famous Environmentalists: George Caitlin
The paintings and books of George Caitlin (1796 – 1872) stirred the conscience of Americans by highlighting that the encroachment of the white settlers who were destroying whole tribes and the culture of Native American Indians. Caitlin also provided eye-witness accounts of the near extinction of the buffalo perpetrated by men who hunted them for sport and left their carcasses to rot.
Famous Environmentalists: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) was the famous American poet essayist and lecturer. Ralph Waldo Emerson was also a founder of the Hudson River School that contributed to the "Parks Movement" attracting Famous Environmentalists and artists. Hudson River School had many acclaimed members such as the artists Thomas Cole (1801–1848), Asher B. Durand (1796–1886) and Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902). Ralph Waldo Emerson greatly influenced Henry David Thoreau. Ralph Waldo Emerson defined the ideals of American conservation and Environmentalism through his 1836 essay entitled "Nature".
Famous Environmentalists: Henry David Thoreau
The American writer and environmentalist, Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862), believed that "all good things are wild and free" and his beliefs led to the establishment of the Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world. His famous experiment in living close to nature are described in his book called 'Walden' or 'Life in the Woods' that was published on August 9, 1854. His essays such as "Walking" had a profound impact on the implications for global environmental.
Famous Environmentalists: Gifford Pinchot
Gifford Pinchot (1865–1946), was the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, who believed that natural resources should be used to provide the "greatest good for the greatest number of people." Pinchot was a great friend of Theodore Roosevelt and both believed that the reckless exploitation of the nation's limited natural resources would lead to disaster unless scientific management of the resources was implemented. Pinchot was instrumental in the national campaign for the conservation and rational use of the nation's forests and one of the most influential of the Famous Environmentalists.
Famous Environmentalists: John Muir
The naturalist, environmentalist and preservationist John Muir (1838 – 1914) who was strongly opposed to the exploitation of natural resources. Muir wrote about the destructive logging of giant redwoods in California and the damage caused by excessive grazing of sheep. John Muir urged protection of the Yosemite Valley and his determined influence led to the Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. Muir became a high profile figure in the quest for “preservation” of natural land. John Muir founded the 'Sierra Club' which became a prominent American conservation organization, at the forefront of the environmental movement. John Muir deserves his title of the "Father of Our National Park System ".
Famous Environmentalists: John LeConte
John Eatton LeConte (1823 – 1901) was a noted naturalist who made important contributions to the study of fauna. He was a member of the of the Sierra Club. His Journal of Ramblings through the High Sierra of California was published in 1875.
Famous Environmentalists: Solomon G. Brown
Solomon G. Brown (1829-1906) was a famous African American environmentalists, lecturer, artist and cartographer who specialized in natural history whilst working at the Smithsonian Institution from 1852 until 1906.
Famous Environmentalists: Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), one of the Famous Environmentalists, is given the epithet of the "Godfather of Wilderness" A firm supporter of conservation, an ardent environmentalist and sometimes referred to as the founder of modern ecology who adhered to the science of wildlife management. Aldo Leopold studied forestry at Yale and then worked for the U.S. Forest Service. He was also a famous author and his book called 'A Sand County Almanac' provided a passionate argument for the preservation of the wilderness.
Famous Environmentalists: Joseph Rothrock
Joseph Rothrock (1839 – 1922) was a famous American environmentalist who was accorded the title of the "Father of Forestry" for his work in forest conservation. In 1895, Joseph Rothrock was appointed the first forestry commissioner in Division of Forestry in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. His goal was to formulate a government policy to fight to conserve and protect the nation's forests. He initiated the introduction of a forest academy to train foresters
Famous Environmentalists: Jacob Nolde
Jacob Nolde (1859–1916) was an American industrialist and environmentalist who was largely responsible for the creation of Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center to provide environmental education. Jacob Nolde came from a family of foresters and despite his great accumulation of wealth continued to adopt a hands-on approach to the upkeep of Nolde Forest.
Famous Environmentalists: Asa Gray
Asa Gray (1810 - 1888) was a famous American botanist whose 1848 'Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States' commonly called Gray’s Manual is still in use today.
Famous Environmentalists: George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) is considered as one of America's greatest agricultural educators, researchers and conservationists. His experiments in crop rotation led to the preservation of soil and made farms more productive. He is one of the most famous Environmentalists.
Famous Environmentalists: John James Audubon
John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a famous environmentalist, artist and writer. Audubon specialized in the study of American birds and mammals and contributed to the knowledge and understanding who studied his writings and artwork. The Audubon
Society was founded in 1896 to protect wildlife, particularly birds.