Harold Wood has been a wilderness advocate and environmental activist and educator for over 40 years. In the Sixties he devoured the writings of John Muir as a high school student. In the Seventies, while attending college and graduate school, he worked on grassroots efforts to pass wilderness legislation in California and Washington State, which included congressional establishment of wildeerness areas in several national parks and wildlife refuges, and the once-controversial Clearwater Wilderness in Washington State, and efforts supporting the Alaska Lands Act. In the Eighties, he worked on everything from international environmental issues like tropical rainforests as a member of the Sierra Club Ingternational Committee. Beginning in the Nineties he worked on oak tree preservation, and on environmental education efforts with the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) and the Sierra Club John Muir Education Committee. He served as editor for several environmental newsletters, and for a few years for the national Sierra Club International Action Report. He was a co-founder of Restore Hetch Hetchy, and has been engaged in efforts to Stop Global Warming.
Harold is active in the U.S.A.'s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, the Sierra Club, and currently chairs and is webmaster for the LeConte Memorial Lodge Committee, and the John Muir Education Team in the Sierra Club Activist Network. He is Global Warming chair for the Sierra Club's Mineral King Group in Visalia. He is the volunteer webmaster for the award-winning John Muir Exhibit website, as well as chapter and group websites.
Harold led the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia to obain Green Sanctuary certification in 2007, and served as its president for several years. The Green Sanctuary program promotes environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and environmental justice.
Harold has authored several publications on environmental and related topics, and regularly gives presentations about John Muir, wilderness, and related topics.
He has received several awards from local and national environmental organizations, including the year 2000 Friend of the Oak Award from the Visalia Beautification Committee; the year 2000 Sierra Cup Award from the Sierra Club Kern Kaweah Chapter; and the Sierra Club's "Special Achievement Award."
His hobbies include hiking, swimming, photography, reading, first-day cover collecting, world geography & travel (30 countries & counting), and watching movies. Pursuing life-long learning, he is a fan of The Great Courses and Coursera.org. He enjoys Eco-music, Celtic Music, Folk Music, and Songs for World Peace.
Religious Affiliations: Unitarian-Universalist; Universal Pantheist; and the Church of Macintosh.
Political Persuasion: Planet Patriot Party Platform .
What is the most satisfying aspect of your website activites?
E-mail from people around the world to tell me how John Muir inspires them to take positive environmental action. My website the John Muir Exhibit, http://www.johnmuir.info/ has a plethora of information on Muir.
What keeps you motivated on a day-to-day basis?
What motivates me is the realization that so much in the environmental field seems like "gloom and doom," but by recognizing John Muir as a wilderness hero and environmental icon, we find the inspiration for making environmental protection a positive thing. Muir taught us to not just look at, but to really see nature, the take our blinders off and realize that its beauty is overwhelming if we really open our eyes. Muir taught us that Nature "heals body and soul alike" and that wilderness is a necessity. Once people learn to really see the natural world, and to learn about its intricate inner workings, a scientific understanding blends with an artistic appreciation that simply compels us to recognize that other living things do have a right to exist, and that humans' role is to help ensure that all living things continue to live on earth.
Which personal characteristic has helped you most in your success?
A positive mental attitude, which is something my father taught me, has contributed more than anything to my success. Some environmentlists are motivated by such crises as horrific toxic pollution or the threat of extinction of species, or the gloomy predictions of global warming, and that is fine; but if you want to have "staying power" in the environmental field, your motive can't be just responding to all the awful things that are happening tso the environment by the greedy and ignorant, but you must be more than that - - give yourself up to a complete love for our planet, a positive appreciation of all of nature's glories. Then, you can work to protect the Earth without despair. Environmental concern is then motivated by love and moral responsibility, not fear of threats, real or imagined.
What would be your advice to someone exploring a career?
Get a good liberal education in both sciences and liberal arts. Study the people who have made a difference in the past - people like John Muir and Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Joseph Wood Krutch, Edward Abbey, Ed Wayburn, and the countless other environmental activists who have written about or worked on behalf of our beautiful planet Earth.
At the same time, get involved as a volunteer in your community or with appropriate non-profit organizations to help make the world a better place! Balance work, family, and contributions to society.
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This page is maintained by Harold Wood.
E-mail: harold (at) planetpatriot.net
Last updated: 8-27-16