The Sierra Club was founded on May 28, 1892, by John Muir, a noted preservationist, and a group of influential friends who
sought to create an organization to protect the boundaries of the newly established Yosemite National Park. Under Muir’s leadership,
the club waged numerous battles to defend the natural wonders of both Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. Despite these early
political struggles, the club, prior to WWII, was for the most part an outing organization for climbers, hikers, and campers.
Following the war, the club became both far more political and national in its scope under the leadership of David Brower,
who involved members in opposing a number of federal reclamation projects. In 1971, the club established the Sierra Club Legal
Defense Fund, a group whose task was to handle the club’s mounting litigation. During the 1980s, the club experienced considerable
growth as it garnered support for opposing the policies of Secretary of the Interior James Watt, who advocated use, rather
than protection, of wilderness. As a result, between 1980 and 1983, the club’s membership nearly doubled to 346,000. The popularity
of environmentalism has helped keep the Sierra Club an appealing and powerful organization for the general public and politicians.
The club continues to fight for the preservation of wilderness and the protection of national parks. The club involves itself
in new environmental concerns such as clean energy.
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be
commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.