California puts John Muir on its official quarter

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and state first lady Maria Shriver yesterday introduced the new California quarter, bearing the likeness of venerable conservationist John Muir and the once-almost-extinct California condor he did so much to preserve. “Muir lit the torch of conservation in our state,” said the governor, whose environmental record, while not perfect, shines in comparison to many of his fellow party members in Washington, D.C., where the torch of conservation is, shall we say, sputtering. Muir, a Scottish transplant, traveled over and wrote extensively about the Western U.S., laying the groundwork for the national park system and national green groups like the Sierra Club. “John Muir literally coined conservation as we know it,” said the club’s executive director, Carl Pope. Hey Carl, leave the bad puns to the professionals, OK?