What Did Theodore Roosevelt Do for the Environment?

Theodore Roosevelt's efforts to protect the environment included establishing a pelican reserve in Florida, creating the Bureau of Forestry and finding ways to make dry land farmable again. When his presidency ended, he spent time exploring Africa and the Amazon to collect specimens for scientific investigation.

Prior to, during and after his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt made efforts to conserve the environment. In the 1880s, he was part of a magazine editorial team that pushed to protect Yellowstone Park. Although the park's nature was protected, the magazine wanted to prevent companies from placing railroads and mines there. In 1903, during the early years of his presidency, Roosevelt visited an area of Florida known for its pelicans. Upon seeing that local women were using them to create hats, he established a reserve that would prevent them becoming extinct.

In 1902, Roosevelt also created a national reclamation service, which took land that had become dry and untenable and made it arable again. Because of his efforts, farmers were able to access millions more acres of land. Later in 1905, he created the Bureau of Forestry, which was a scientific effort to establish which trees could be removed without posing a risk to the environment and which needed to remain. Following his presidency, he ventured to Africa and the Amazon to collect specimens, which were later examined for conservation purposes.