jon christensen

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Jon Christensen shares opinion in SFist: Muir Woods Might Want To Look For a New Name As The Sierra Club Reckons With Its Founder’s Racism

The sheer number of things named after famed environmentalist John Muir in California makes for widespread implications if and when it comes time to remove his name from places of honor. But the man wrote many egregiously racist things which, however typical they were for his time, could mean that things like Muir Woods should get new namesakes. 

“Muir’s legacy has to go,” said Jon Christensen, a historian with UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability. “It’s just not useful anymore.”

Christensen and others see Muir’s beliefs as antiquated in the face of 21st century environmental challenges that the bushy-bearded Scot could not have imagined: population growth, urban sprawl, demographic shifts, climate change.