The Father of
Some of Theodore Roosevelt's greatest accomplishments
were in conservation. In 1905, President Roosevelt
formed the United States Forestry Service and
appointed Gifford Pinchot as the first chief
of this new agency. Under TR's direction, lands
were reserved for public use and huge irrigation
projects were started. During Roosevelt's time
as President, the forest reserves in the U.S.
went from approximately 43-million acres to
about 194-million acres.
President, he signed legislation that established
five national park units: Crater Lake, Oregon;
Wind Cave, South Dakota; Sullys Hill, North
Dakota (later designated a game preserve); Mesa
Verde, Colorado; and Platt, Oklahoma (now part
of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area).
By the end of 1906, Roosevelt had proclaimed
four national monuments: Devil's Tower, Wyoming;
El Morro, New Mexico; Montezuma Castle, Arizona;
and the Petrified Forest, Arizona. He also protected
a large portion of the Grand Canyon as a national
monument in 1908. During his presidency, TR
signed into law a total of 18 national monuments.
Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906 had an even
broader effect. Although the Act did not create
a single park, it allowed Roosevelt and his
successors to proclaim "historic landmarks,
historic or prehistoric structures, and other
objects of historic or scientific interest"
in federal ownership as national monuments.
To learn more about the Antiquities Act, go
Roosevelt's actions in conservation helped to
impact what would one day become the National
Park Service (NPS), which was formally established
on August 25, 1916.
his own words, Theodore Roosevelt strongly believed
in conserving our national lands.
recognize the right and duty of this generation
to develop and use the nature resources of our
land; but I do not recognize the right to waste
them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations
that come after us." (Theodore Roosevelt, Osawatomie,
Kansas, August 31, 1910). To learn more about
America's National Parks, go to:
more about Theodore Roosevelt:
Before the Presidency
Roosevelt: Rancher, Historian,
Did You Know?
The Father of Conservation
Life After the Presidency