October 27 marks what would be the 151st birthday of the 26th President of the United States and youngest to hold office. He became president in 1901 at 42 years of age after the assassination of President William McKinley. Theodore Roosevelt is considered by scholars to be one of the greatest American Presidents. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War and was responsible for the completion of the Panama Canal.
While known as an avid hunter, his lifelong love of the outdoors and study of natural history has been somewhat overlooked. In a new book entitled, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, author Douglas Brinkley writes exclusively about Roosevelt as naturalist, conservationist and hunter. He details what might be his greatest achievement, the creation of 150 National Forests, 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 6 National Parks, and 18 National Monuments. A total of 234 million acres of wilderness preserved for future generations.
So part of President Roosevelt’s legacy is making such wonderful places as the Grand Canyon, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys—just to name a few—part of our federal public lands systems. This book is available in the Libraries' Natural History Library.—Robin Everly