It's Complicated: John Muir’s Legacy…Whose Land is it Anyway?

It’s Complicated is a series of conversations that bring together a variety of voices to discuss the legacies of historical people, places, and events. These histories may be confusing, difficult, regrettable, and indeed complicated. We will leave it to others to put figures up on pedestals or take them down—our question is how do we, today, choose to live with the history we have inherited, and use it to move forward? 

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John Muir, the Scottish-American writer and naturalist who advocated for the preservation of his favorite parts of nature, is an iconic figure, especially in California where his name abounds.  
 
Yet his life’s work contributed to the ongoing dispossession of Native people in order to realize an idea of wilderness as a space for recreation for middle- and upper-class white folks. Beyond the issue of whether we ought to exalt Muir, this reevaluation reflects some profound changes underway in how we relate to each other and the non-human world. 
 
Conversation features Leah Mata-Fragua (Northern Chumash); Ron Goode (North Fork Mono); Sandy Hernandez, Latino Outdoors; and Char Miller, Pomona College. 
 

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It’s Complicated: John Muir’s Legacy…Whose Land Is It Anyway?