Project Description

Public Education

OBJECTIVE: The Conservancy plans to improve public education: to better inform all visitors the “best practices” for traveling through wilderness; to curate the 5,000-year history of indigenous cultures across the region; and to restore the storied past of the JMT as America’s first and oldest recreational hiking trail.

Public Education

OBJECTIVE:    The Conservancy plans to improve public education: to better inform all visitors the “best practices” for traveling through wilderness; to curate the 5,000-year history of indigenous cultures across the region; and to restore the storied past of the JMT as America’s first and oldest recreational hiking trail.

 

Particularly as the Conservancy invests in a broad-based wilderness restoration program and improves site-planning and facilities at trailheads, we believe improved public education must be supported to assure our work endures. There are three facets to this effort: to better prepare and guide people who move through this fragile wilderness; to collect and preserve the artifacts of indigenous cultures as they are found; and to reacquaint people with the rich history associated with the creation and construction of this magnificent trail, America’s first and oldest.

To start, every person should know what to expect and how to lessen their impact on the wilderness. A hiker who is well prepared for high-elevation rugged travel will have a safer and more enjoyable experience. Everyone should train to a good fitness level, acclimate to high-elevation demands, and pack light and with appropriate gear, food and first aide. Each person should know the best practices for campsite selection, food, water and waste management, and trail protocols, so they leave no trace and lessen their impact on the terrain.

We know indigenous cultures have inhabited the Sierra Nevada for millennia. Just as we do, many strove to reach the heights of the peaks and passes. There were trading routes between the eastern and western tribes and territorial disputes and warring between others. As people today move through this region, artifacts may be found. The Conservancy would like to preserve and curate this record, collaborating with tribal leaders to assure integrity of this history. It is a story of generations that should be cultivated and retold.

Finally, this history of the John Muir Trail itself is one worth re-telling, bringing it back to public awareness. Created by state law in 1915, the JMT is the oldest recreational hiking trail in American history, 50 years older than the Appalachian Trail. Its exploration and construction was at the center of the national movement in the late-19th and early-20th centuries to conserve wilderness in national parks, forests and trails. The movement was lead by John Muir, the nation’s most venerated conservationist, in his tireless writing and speaking. Thus after his death, the trail was created and named in his honor. There is much more to research and recover in the museums and archives of California.

We are pursuing strategies on all fronts. Please donate to support our efforts.

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Particularly as the Conservancy invests in a broad-based wilderness restoration program and improves site-planning and facilities at trailheads, we believe improved public education must be supported to assure our work endures. There are three facets to this effort: to better prepare and guide people who move through this fragile wilderness; to collect and preserve the artifacts of indigenous cultures as they are found; and to reacquaint people with the rich history associated with the creation and construction of this magnificent trail, America’s first and oldest.

To start, every person should know what to expect and how to lessen their impact on the wilderness. A hiker who is well prepared for high-elevation rugged travel will have a safer and more enjoyable experience. Everyone should train to a good fitness level, acclimate to high-elevation demands, and pack light and with appropriate gear, food and first aide. Each person should know the best practices for campsite selection, food, water and waste management, and trail protocols, so they leave no trace and lessen their impact on the terrain.

We know indigenous cultures have inhabited the Sierra Nevada for millennia. Just as we do, many strove to reach the heights of the peaks and passes. There were trading routes between the eastern and western tribes and territorial disputes and warring between others. As people today move through this region, artifacts may be found. The Conservancy would like to preserve and curate this record, collaborating with tribal leaders to assure integrity of this history. It is a story of generations that should be cultivated and retold.

Finally, this history of the John Muir Trail itself is one worth re-telling, bringing it back to public awareness. Created by state law in 1915, the JMT is the oldest recreational hiking trail in American history, 50 years older than the Appalachian Trail. Its exploration and construction was at the center of the national movement in the late-19th and early-20th centuries to conserve wilderness in national parks, forests and trails. The movement was lead by John Muir, the nation’s most venerated conservationist, in his tireless writing and speaking. Thus after his death, the trail was created and named in his honor. There is much more to research and recover in the museums and archives of California.

We are pursuing strategies on all fronts. Please donate to support our efforts.

VIEW ALL PROJECTS