10/20/1997 AT 12:00 AM EDT
David Brower, 88, who built the Sierra Club up from a small hiking group into an ecological and political force to be reckoned with, died of cancer at his Berkeley, Calif., home on Sunday. Widely regarded (including by Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader) as one of the 20th century's most powerful and articulate conservationists, Brower was also a highly vocal opponent of the indiscriminate use of herbicides and pesticides. As he would lecture audiences, "You are villains not to share your apples with worms. Bite the worms. They won't hurt nearly as much as the insecticide does."