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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump wants Teddy Roosevelt's 230 Million Acres

There is a scene in my book Forging a President where Teddy Roosevelt is riding across the Badlands in the middle of the night with a full moon beaming down passing the amazing geological formations, buffalo, Indians, galloping across his own dream of being a cowboy out in the Wild West and he knew in that moment that as a young mans adventure in the Dakota Territory it would get no better than that moment and maybe that is when it occurred to him that the West would not last and that it would fall victim to the rapacious spirit of American exploitation and maybe that seed was planted then but he was determined that other generation would see what he had seen and when he became President he set aside 230  million acres for future generations.

So you can take your hat off to this farsighted President now and I think you better because the vested interests in the White House now have a toehold and they are reviewing twenty years worth of lands set aside under the 1906 antiquities act that Roosevelt signed into law. Under this law any president can set aside land or sites that he sees as valuable and preserve it for future generations. Trump and company would love to undo these protections and turn the land over to developers and corporations to drill, dig, develop for the almighty American dollar.

Fortunately Teddy's sweeping protection of 230 million acres is the heart of our national parks and the park service he set up to  protect it has done a very good job. But the gloves are off and what was considered normal before is no longer. Is TR's great vision of land set aside forever in danger? It could be if people don't realize what they would lose...and what the unborn would never see.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Books by William Hazelgrove