Teddy Roosevelt Championed Conservation Efforts—That Also Displaced Native Americans

Theodore Roosevelt is known as the ‘Conservation President’ for his tireless efforts at the dawn of the 20and century, to protect wildlife and public lands from development. His efforts helped establish the US National Park and Forest Service, bringing more than 200 million acres of land under public protection. But the transfer of all this territory to government control has come at great cost to the indigenous peoples, who have managed these lands for generations.

A Harvard-educated New Yorker, Roosevelt was deeply inspired by the nature and myth of the western frontier. A lifelong hunter and explorer, he continually ventured into the wilderness to recharge his batteries, from the backwoods of Maine to the Dakota Badlands, an uncharted river in the Brazilian wilderness. In his youth and early adulthood, he often pursued “the arduous life” to help ameliorate physical ailments, build character, and overcome deep personal losses. Later, his relationship with nature took on an almost spiritual dimension.

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