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
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
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
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
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.
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".
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.
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.
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".
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
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.
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 ".
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
Famous Environmentalists: Solomon G.
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
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
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
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
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.
Society was founded in 1896 to protect wildlife, particularly birds.