News from Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library / Newsletter, April 22, 2024


As we celebrate Earth Day today we should look back on the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, often hailed as the “Conservation President.”



Theodore Roosevelt was a pioneer in the conservation movement, whose efforts fundamentally shaped the nation’s approach to preserving its natural heritage. Roosevelt’s tenure was marked by an unprecedented commitment to environmental conservation, during which he established the United States Forest Service and signed into law the Antiquities Act of 1906, granting the President the authority to designate national monuments. He used this power extensively, safeguarding approximately 230 million acres of public land through the creation of 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, 4 national game preserves, 5 national parks, and 18 national monuments.

His actions were not only aimed at protecting landscapes and wildlife but also at ensuring that natural resources were managed under the principles of sustainability for public benefit. Roosevelt’s environmental legacy is vast, encompassing the protection of vast wilderness areas, the promotion of conservation as a national value, and the establishment of a framework for the stewardship of America’s natural resources that has endured and evolved over more than a century.

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