Mr. Sullivan American History
Teddy Roosevelt and Conservation
To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of
using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our
children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified...
1. Why does Roosevelt refer to America’s children when discussing issues of
The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that
problem it will avail us little to solve all others."
T.R. to the Deep Waterway Convention, 4 October 1907
1. Why would Roosevelt consider conservation so important compared to others?
In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind
absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. ...Keep this great wonder of
nature as it is. ...You can not improve it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can
only mar it.
1. How does Roosevelt feel about the Grand Canyon? Use your words not his.
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."
Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1907
1. Why would some Americans believe, in the early 1900s, that our resources were endless?
Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our
country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things
sometimes seek to champion them by saying the 'the game belongs to the people.' So it does; and
not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people..…..The movement for the
conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources
are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method."
A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open, 1916
1. Who are the “unborn people” Roosevelt refers to? How does conservation impact
Can you imagine a tree so big that a whole group of grownups looks so tiny? Here we find
President Theodore Roosevelt with naturalist John Muir at Yosemite in 1903
1. How would visiting such places strengthen Roosevelt’s feelings about conservation?
1. Why would many believe that Roosevelt’s love for hunting runs counter to his views on
Teddy Bear Cartoon - 1902
Mr. Sullivan American History
Identify the names of the states where the following National Parks are located.
1. Acadia _________________________________
3. Grand Canyon___________________________
9. Great Smoky Mountain______________________
150 National Forests
51 Federal Bird Reservations
4 National Game Preserves
5 National Parks
18 National Monuments
24 Reclamation Projects
7 Conservation Conferences and Commissions
Don't hit at all if you can help it; don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do
hit him, put him to sleep."
New York City, February 17, 1899
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit
for a month.”