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Trees in a Concrete Jungle
Dennis Artischev
History 105, Section 23, Fall 2012
As John Muir made his trek across the Sierra he described a beautiful landscape of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and more. People have always had a fascination with nature and the amazing variety of landscapes in America. John Muir was one of the many who loved spending his time in the nature of the western frontier. It was expansive, untouched and offered a great variety of terrain, but in our modernized and developed country where everyone lives in cities and bustling suburbs the environment has many times begin forgotten. We as humans take advantage of the environment to build on it. Sometimes abusing its resources and destroying beautiful lands. Something John Muir probably would not agree with if he were still around today. Being the naturalist he was, he always believed in the preservation of the environment for its beauty. His view that living with the surrounding land instead of building over it has not been inherited by many of our generation. In 1860 the United States was young and was still developing. Much of its lands untouched by people. The east coast, generally developed and densely populated, was the center of commerce and the heart of growing nation. Anything west was unpopulated and untouched. The people saw these unexplored lands as mysterious and threatening. Many were afraid to venture out in to the wild when they had perfectly good lives in the city. Those people like Muir longed to go out and explore something unseen, to experience nature in its virgin state. “No Sierra landscape that I have seen holds anything truly dead or dull, or any trace of what in manufactories is called rubbish or waste; everything is perfectly clean and pure and full of divine lessons.” (John Muir, pg. 104) For him, venturing out into those unknown lands was for observation and appreciation. In today’s Artischev 2

society the environment has been, a lot the times, ignored. Due...
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