John Muir and Gifford Pinchot have often been seen as the embodiment of conflicting environmental philosophies. Muir, the preservationist and co-founder of the Sierra Club. Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service advocating sustainability in timber harvests, instituted conservation. The idealistic Muir saw nature as something special and separate; the pragmatic Pinchot accepted that people used the products of nature. The environmental movement's original sin, and the root of many of it's difficulties, was its inability to reconcile these two viewpoints—and these two men.So how was it that Muir and Pinchot went camping together—and delighted in each other's company? Does this mean that the seemingly irreparable divide in environmental ethos is not as unbridgeable as it might seem? The perceived rivalry between these two men has obscured a fascinating and hopeful story. Muir and Pinchot actually spent years in an alliance that lead to the original movement for public lands. Their shared commitment to the glories of natural landscapes united their disparate talents and viewpoints to create a fledgling and uniquely American vision of land ownership and management.