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Contact: Gretchen Stromberg, 510-778-4170
John Muir National Historic Site (NHS) has received public comments for the Strentzel-Muir Gravesite Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) that warrant further analysis and exploration. The public comment period began on April 20th and recently closed on June 1st. Based on public feedback, which provided additional information not obtained during public scoping, the National Park Service will work on providing a third action alternative as well as revisions to the two action alternatives already made public in the EA that was released in April. A revised Environmental Assessment will be released for public comment later this summer after the new components have been addressed. It will not be necessary for those who commented on the old EA to re-submit their prior comments, although new comments are welcomed.
The Strentzel-Muir Gravesite is located approximately one mile from John Muir’s former home. The 1.27-acre parcel contains a historic pear orchard and a small family burial area that includes John Muir’s final resting place. The site is bounded by Alhambra Creek to the southeast and single-family residences to the north, west and south.
John Muir NHS consisted of the Muir House, the Martinez Adobe, and their surrounding grounds when established in 1964. In 1980, the NPS conducted a feasibility study for adding the Strentzel-Muir Gravesite property to John Muir NHS, which was owned by the Muir-Hanna Family Trust. In 1988, Congress passed legislation to include the gravesite within the boundary of John Muir NHS. In 1991, the NPS completed a General Management Plan that included a proposed strategy for managing the gravesite. In 1993, the American Land Conservancy purchased the property with the intent of transferring it to the NPS when funds became available, which occurred in 2000.
According to its founding legislation, John Muir NHS was established as a public memorial honoring John Muir for his contributions to the nation in land conservation and for his crusading efforts in advancing the cause of the national parks. The purpose of the Strentzel-Muir Gravesite Plan is to meet this legislative charge by identifying appropriate management strategies for the gravesite, John Muir’s final resting place and a fundamental part of the National Historic Site. In addition to supporting the legislated mission of John Muir National Historic Site, the purpose of this plan is to fulfill the broader NPS mission of managing natural and cultural resources while providing for visitor use in a manner that considers surrounding landowners who live in close proximity to the gravesite, as well as the desires of the Muir family and the public .