Archives On The Air 26: Conservation And Preservation—Fritiof Fryxell Papers

Jul 23, 2018

A biographical sketch of John Muir, January 1905. Box 5, Fritiof Fryxell papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

UW’s American Heritage Center is teeming with collections on the philosophy, law, and practice of the country’s landscape heritage.

To understand the true nature of environmental preservation, we can turn to the papers of Fritiof Fryxell. Fryxell studied the history and changes of nature and culture throughout time.

Much of Fryxell’s work relied on the father of preservation: John Muir.

Often deemed “even more wonderful than Thoreau” and “the father of preservation,” Muir advocated for as little human involvement as possible in the landscape.

A biographical sketch of John Muir, January 1905. Box 5, Fritiof Fryxell papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

Muir understood the spiritual, innate importance of nature to humanity. He felt that humans need to enjoy an untamed nature.

As a friend of trees, Muir was instrumental in the formation of Yosemite and Sierra National parks with the mentality that these lands should remain untouched and fully enjoyed to elevate our physical, mental, and spiritual capacities.

Fan through the Fritiof Fryxell collection to see for yourself at UW’s American Heritage Center.