Why did President Roosevelt support conservation?

Expert Answers
mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

President Theodore Roosevelt was a big supporter of conservation. President Roosevelt understood the value of conserving our resources for future generations. He believed that all of our actions should be for the benefit of everybody, including future generations. He also loved the outdoors and wanted future generations to be able to enjoy the things he was able to enjoy. As a result, he supported policies that preached conservation.

One policy was the Newlands Reclamation Act. This law provided money for developing irrigation projects as well as land development projects in the West. He also appointed people who supported conservation to government positions. One person was Gifford Pinchot. He was the head of the United States Forest Service. Under Pinchot’s leadership, more land was placed into the national forest system. This protected these lands from private development. New national parks were created as well as federal wildlife reserves. The government was able to get more control over lumbering activities on federal land. President Roosevelt was an active supporter of conservation.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It should be noted that Theodore Roosevelt was a sportsman and a hunter. However, he came to realize the damage being done to the animals and their habitats, especially through commercial efforts. Habitats were destroyed through overgrazing and expansion in big business. People assumed the available natural resources were inexhaustible. Wanton destruction of the environment and the decimation of wildlife populations was being experienced nationally. Roosevelt sought to educate the people on the need for conserving the environment that they depended on for their present and future existence.

Theodore Roosevelt showed concern for the environment and urged the people to reconsider their use of available resources. As president, he is credited with the creation of the United States Forest Service (USFS). He also established game reserves, national parks, and bird reserves aimed at protecting wildlife areas. Roosevelt’s efforts resulted in the protection of 230 million acres of public land with a huge chunk established as national forests.