The Broad Country We Both Loved…

Roosevelt called often at my office to discuss the broad country we both loved, and we came to know each other extremely well. Though chiefly interested in big game and its hunting, and telling interestingly of events that had occurred on his hunting trips, Roosevelt enjoyed hearing of the birds, the small mammals and the incidents of travel of early expeditions on which I had gone. He was always fond of natural history, having begun, as so many boys have done, with birds; but as he saw more and more of outdoor life his interest in the subject broadened and later it became a passion with him.

- George Grinnell

Excerpt from American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation by John F. Reiger.

There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than…

“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

From Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter, 1905.

Testing Your Staying Power in the Field

“Hunting for a day or two without finding game where the work is toilsome, is a good test of the sportsman’s staying qualities; the man who at the end of the time is proceeding with as much caution and determination as at the beginning, has got the right stuff in him.”

Excerpt from Hunting Trips of a Ranchman 

Treat Natural Resources as Assets

“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”

-Theodore Roosevelt, speech before Colorado Livestock Association, Denver, Colo., Aug. 29, 1910.

T.R. the fire-starter.

When we halted for the evening meal we came near learning by practical experience how easy it is to start a prairie fire. We were camped by a dry creek on a broad bottom covered with a thick, short grass, as dry as so much tinder. We wished to burn a good circle clear for the campfire; lighting it, we stood around with branched to keep it under. While thus standing a puff of wind struck us; the fire roared like a wild beast as it darted up; and our hair and eyelashes were well singed before we had beaten it out.

-excerpt from “Hunting Trips of a Ranchman

The Fundamental Problem

“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”

Theodore Roosevelt, address to the Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 4, 1907.

Optimism is Good…

Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.

-Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message to Congress, Dec. 3, 1907.

Conservation Protection

Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural 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, “The New Nationalism,” speech at Osawatomie, Kans., 31 Aug. 1910

Great Waterways

The public must retain control of the great waterways. It is essential that any permit to obstruct them for reasons and on conditions that seem good at the moment should be subject to revision when changed conditions demand.

- Theodore Roosevelt, 1908

So-called Bad Lands

“I heartily enjoy this life, with its perfect freedom, for I am very fond of hunting, and there are few sensations I prefer to that of galloping over these rolling limitless prairies, with rifle in hand, or winding my way among the barren, fantastic and grimly picturesque deserts of the so-called Bad Lands.”

Theodore Roosevelt, letter to his sister, North Dakota, 1883.