26th President (1858 - 1919)
Monday, March 3rd, 1901
I enjoyed my long interview with Roosevelt. Although it was hard to ask all of the questions I hoped and planned to due to the heavy breathing from the long nature hike. It was eye opening to realize the beauty behind all of his work, with that being said I hope you enjoy.
Why did you decide to defend and conserve nature?
I began my life with a passion of hunting big game, especially in North America. I enjoyed writing down my success, when one day, it occurred to me that slowly they (the animals) and their habitats were lessening which helped me to realize that society, including myself, had a false perception of our natural resources. Although I realized this, majority of society believed natural resources were inexhaustible. At this point, I concluded that I needed to be the voice of Mother Nature.
Why do you think your nickname is/was "Conservationist President?"
After I became president in 1902, I used my authority to conserve wildlife. I created in a sense national parks. Which I could do, being president. I believe this gave the public an idea of what I was about, conservation. Therefore, I became known as that.
What are your greatest accomplishments?
Well I hate to brag about myself but I would also like to recognize the success I did have with conservation. In total I established 150 national forests, 4 national game reserves, 51 federal bird reserves,5 national parks, and 18 national monuments. In total I concerned around 230 million acres of public land.
What were your greatest struggles?
Although I can not pinpoint a specific event that I could define as an obstacle I can honestly say that my childhood and young adult life was affected by severe asthma. I loved being in nature and loved running around but practically couldn't due to my sickness. I learned to live with it towards the end of my younger years but it for sure is something that was hard to overcome. Another struggle would be trying to get the people to agree and follow my acts. Majority did not realize that problem they were creating not only for themselves but for the future generations. I can't sit here and tell you that I did not do this for my one generation but the generations to come as well.
Who was the biggest help in your life? Hindrance?
I believe that either William Howard Taft or William McKinley were my biggest supports. It was a tragic assassination for McKinley but I enjoyed taking the reigns and really being able to voice my opinion. Having Taft take over also continued my ideas and beliefs. No specific person gave me grief that I can recall, the hardest part of it all was getting the people to agree and support me and my voice
Who today (2016) relates the most and continues your work with conservation?
Today, Barack Obama is a current believer in conserving natural resources. He has a number of acts but is main focus is the Clean Air Act. Obama and I both believe that our recourses are limited and we need to conserve them as much as we can.
"We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation"