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TR and Wilson
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Wilderness Preservation Key Events Maps Transcript Webography

Page 123456


Introduction

You Decide:  Should Roosevelt and Wilson have been more active in preserving wilderness from development?


Theodore Roosevelt was a lover of grand rugged places. He wrote that, "There are no words that can tell of the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm." Roosevelt was also among those Progressives who worried that the nation's natural resources were being depleted and thought those resources ought to be managed efficiently to offer the greatest good to the greatest number of people. As President, he withdrew hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands from sale and promoted policies to manage forests, grazing land, and water. He called himself a conservationist.



But when a dam-building project, designed to provide water to the city of San Francisco, threatened to flood the spectacular Hetch Hetchy Valley near Yosemite National Park, Roosevelt sided against wilderness advocates, such as Sierra Club founder John Muir, and with supporters of the dam. The controversy raged for six years. Finally, when Woodrow Wilson became President, he would sign the bill that authorized the Hetch Hetchy Dam.



Should Roosevelt and Wilson have been more active in preserving wilderness from development?

YES or NO



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