Theodore Roosevelt and the Environment

Theodore Roosevelt and the Environment

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 in New York City. Many people remember him as the 26th President of the United States. However, many people don't realize that Roosevelt was also an environmental hero. At the age of eight he started The Roosevelt Museum of Natural History. Although he captured and killed many animals, he did it to study them, not just for the fun it. In fact, Roosevelt was strongly against hunting as a sport and spent most of his life making sanctuaries and reservations. His most famous act pertaining to helping the wild was while on a hunting trip. Roosevelt refused to shoot an injured bear that had been captured and tied to a tree. After hearing about the story, a shop owner named a stuffed toy animal in his store after Roosevelt. Today, that stuffed animal is now known as the Teddy Bear.

Roosevelt used his power as President to the fullest when it came to helping the environment.
On March 14, 1903, President Roosevelt created the nation’s first wildlife refuge on Pelican Island in Florida Pelicans and other birds that were being hunted and killed for their large colorful and exotic feathers. By making the island a wildlife sanctuary, Roosevelt protected the birds from hunters. The National Wildlife Refuge system is now the largest in the world with over 500 refuges.

Just three years later, President Roosevelt signed the Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities, which is most commonly known as the 1906 Antiquities Act. This act gave the President authority to restrict the use of particular public land owned by the government, bypassing Congressional oversight. Roosevelt placed 230 million acres of land under protection. As President, he also established 150 National Forests including the Ocala and Choctawhatchee National Forests in Florida, 51 Federal Bird Reservations including Pelican Island plus nine others, 18 National Monuments, including the Grand Canyon, and 5 National Parks.

When Roosevelt left office...

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