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National Rivers Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame inductees are the pioneers, explorers and artists in America's river history. They were movers and shakers from the days gone by and the recent past. These men and women made significant contributions related to America’s rivers, which is why we honor them.


The Artists, Writers, and Musicians

John Muir

Inducted in 2016

Born in Dunbar, Scotland, John Muir became one of America’s best known conservationists. He had a deep appreciation for rivers, writing “The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell.” He began writing about ecology in the early 1870s, and his first printed essay appeared in the New York Tribune. He offered groundbreaking theories about Yosemite’s geological structures being formed by glacial activity, countering previous scientific assertions. He is largely responsible for the establishment of Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks and was a major figure in the creation of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Muir was an advocate for American waterways, writing “the young river speaks and sings all the smaller characters. . . as faithfully as it sings the great precipices and rapid inclines . . . anyone who has learned the language of running water will see its character in the dark,” and “the mountain streams sing the history of every avalanche or earthquake and of snow . In 1892 he co-founded the Sierra Club, and served as its first president until his death in 1914. His 1903 three-night camping trip with Theodore Roosevelt greatly influenced the president’s national conservationist policies.