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Roosevelt's career as a politician/conservationist had only begun.Roosevelt the President is almost universally remembered for his brash foreign policy.By the mid-1800's, many of the people closest to nature had come to realize that the wilderness could only suffer so much exploitation.
In 1894, President Gover Cleveland signed a bill protecting Yellowstone.
While this action alone might have been enough to enshrine Theodore Roosevelt as a Friend to Nature, it represented only a fraction of what he would do to preserve the natural world.
When mining and railroad interests threatened to seriously damage the park, Boone and Crockett rose to the defense.
With editorials, speaking engagements, and furious lobbying among Washington's rich and powerful, the B & C succeeded.
With the stroke of his presidential pen, Roosevelt created Pelican Island Bird Reservation.
This was the first, but not by far the last, time Roosevelt would use such power.While written in a childish hand, the notebooks in which young Roosevelt logged his studies reflected the zeal with which he pursued Nature.They contained complete descriptions of the animals collected, including size, sex, place and date collected, habits, and even stomach contents.In the pages of his magazine, Grinnell had called for scientific forest management, clean water, and restricted use of natural resources-ideas considered quite radical by most Americans.Under Roosevelt and Grinnell, the Boone and Crockett Club would support these concepts, not only promoting the enjoyment of hunting, but the study and preservation of game animals and their habitats.If young Roosevelt's collection methods seemed bloody and cruel, he merely followed the accepted practices of the leading naturalists of the time.Killing was the only way to make extremely accurate observations about the physical characteristics of unfamiliar animals.Inquisitive and single-minded, he would pursue his interests in nature relentlessly for the rest of his life -- a pursuit that would impact America's wild places for decades beyond his death.Fueled by Theodore's curiosity, the Roosevelt museum grew.Yet Roosevelt the naturalist also lived in the White House.During his tenure, with the same type of bullishness as he exhibited in the international arena, he established a natural empire the like of which the world had never seen.