John Muir was a naturalist (someone who studies nature) and a writer who lived from 1838 to 1914. He wrote many books and articles about his adventures in nature. Muir fought hard to preserve forests and mountains, especially Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park in California. The reading for this section is part of a letter he wrote about saving the Sequoia trees.
Sequoias (also called redwoods) are very large, very old trees that grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. The wood from Sequoias isn’t good for building—it breaks easily—but many of the trees were cut down in the late 1800s anyway. Because of the work of John Muir and others, these trees are now protected and can be enjoyed by visitors today.