Exit Viewer

The Green Roosevelt: Theodore Roosevelt in Appreciation of Wilderness, Wildlife, and ...

Chapter :  Introducing the Green Roosevelt
image Next
The Green Roosevelt:

the Green Roosevelt

Zachary Michael Jack

Theodore Roosevelt's credentials as both naturalist and writer are as impressive as they are deep, emblematic of the twenty-sixth President's unprecedented breadth and energy. While Roosevelt authored policies that grew the public domain by a remarkable 230 million acres, he likewise penned over thirty-five books and an estimated 150,000 letters, many concerning the natural world.1 In between drafts both personal and political, scientific and sentimental, he quadrupled existing forest reserves while creating the nation's first fifty wildlife refuges and eighteen national monuments, among them the Grand Canyon, and five national parks, headlined by Yosemite. And if the creation of more than 150,000 new acres of national forest wasn't enough, Roosevelt made a new vogue of sportsmanship, famously refusing to shoot a lame bear in Mississippi and inspiring, thereof, an American icon and ecological fetish all at once: the Teddy Bear.

Indeed, Roosevelt's Green undertakings produced a truly living legacy—one whose everlasting qualities he took robust pleasure in. Naturalist William Finley once suggested to TR that the President's