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I have been reading Kathleen Dalton's, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, A STRENUOUS LIFE, (Knopf, 2002). I am stimulated by the discussion of a recent NPR comment now running on the E-zine (see http://patrickdharrison.com/Ezine/DiscForum/discforumentry.htm) to post some quotes from the book below:

"Roosevelt's love of nature often provided a relief from politics. While  he was busy dealing with an array of petitioners for jobs and political support, he  looked out of the window to see the spring migration and then picked up the phone; he needed Hart Merriam, Chief of the Biological Survey, to come over to make sure he identified Blackpoll Warblers correctly as they perched in the tall elms behind the White House." Id at 239. (I am sure they were moving around, not "perching" in the elms).

"His long-standing love of nature and commitment to science made him see a direct relationship between the waste of natural resources and America's failure to face its other problems in the new century; he declared, 'The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life.'" Id at 240.

"[H]e believed almost as deeply as John Muir in the salvation of the human spirit by the wilderness." Id at 241.

He went on to establish the National Forest Service, to create 52 wildlife preserves by Executive Order, to double the national parks and to take many other actions which rank him as perhaps our most important conservationist President.

All of this he traced to having once been an "othnithological small boy." Id at 242.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri

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