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Trust Welcomes Sierra Club President

Allison Chin, President of the 600,000-strong Sierra Club, has been visiting the rather smaller John Muir Trust in Scotland this week.

Allison Chin, 69 kb

Today she'll visit the JMT's new Wild Space visitor centre in Pitlochry before addressing the Trust's AGM in the Pitlochry Festival Theatre at 6.30pm.

'I am delighted to be in Scotland and to have realised a long-held ambition to visit John Muir's Birthplace' she said.

'The quality of the Highland scenery I've been seeing over the last few days has helped me understand why the John Muir Trust is passionate about Scotland's wild places and is working hard to safeguard these beautiful and important areas.'

The 55th President of America's most influential grassroots environmental organisation, Chin follows in the footsteps of the Scots-born mountaineer, explorer, conservationist and writer John Muir, who was founding President of the Sierra Club until his death in 1914.

Muir, who is almost revered in the States but practically unknown in the land of his birth, launched the Sierra Club in 1892 together with a group of professors from the University of California. The Club won its first great victory with the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1905, the USA's second national park after Yellowstone. In a sign of how far behind we are in the UK, it took the best part of another century before Scotland's first National Parks were eventually established.

As America's oldest and largest conservation organisation the Sierra Club's mission today is 'To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.'

Chin arrived in Scotland on Tuesday at the invitation of the Trust. Her itinerary so far has included a visit to John Muir's Birthplace museum in Dunbar; a meeting in the Scottish Parliament with Paul Wheelhouse, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change; and a walk along the Steall Gorge footpath through Glen Nevis, which was recently repaired and restored by the JMT.

John Hutchison, Chair of the John Muir Trust, who gave a presentation to the Sierra Club Board two years ago, said:

'We're very pleased that President Allison Chin has been able to attend our AGM and Members Gathering in Highland Perthshire this weekend, and we look forward to forging even closer links with the Sierra Club in the future.'



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