You are here: home   Issues   Riding the middle path   Roosevelt was a pragmatic conservationist

Roosevelt was a pragmatic conservationist

Document Actions
Andrew Gulliford opines that Theodore Roosevelt, if he came back today, would be flabbergasted by the Interior Department’s recent decision to jettison years of study on BLM wilderness areas (HCN, 10/13/03: Where's Teddy when you need him?).

I’m not so sure. Roosevelt certainly knew and respected John Muir, and supported his vision to preserve and protect the greatest scenic and natural attractions of America. But Roosevelt also knew and respected Gifford Pinchot, another great American, whom Teddy appointed to be the first chief of the Forest Service. Pinchot was pragmatic, and believed the public lands should be managed for "the greatest good of the greatest number of people in the long run." This concept eventually developed into the concept of multiple use.

In many ways, Roosevelt combined the best qualities of both Muir and Pinchot. He believed in preserving and protecting some parts of the public land, but he also believed the public lands should provide a wide variety of goods and services to support the growth and development of a great nation.

Yes, I think if Roosevelt came back today, he would be satisfied with the way things turned out. He would likely smile, adjust his spectacles, and say "Good show, ol’ chaps. Keep up the good work."

Jim Gerber
St. Anthony, Idaho

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  5. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone