“I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Encompassing over 70,000 acres, Theodore Roosevelt National Park boasts a stunning array of breathtaking badlands, snaking rivers, diverse wildlife including our national mammal, The American Bison, and technicolor canyons. Consider a trip to a land teeming with rugged beauty, massive mammals, epic overlooks, and the place where Theodore Roosevelt once claimed “It was here that the romance of my life began.”
Roosevelt first came to the Dakota Territory in September 1883 with one goal: to hunt a bison. He achieved his goal on September 20, 1883, 13 days after he arrived. While Roosevelt was visiting, he saw the destruction unregulated hunting and overgrazing had on the ecosystem. Roosevelt left the Dakota Territory on September 25 with a different outlook: conservation.
Today, Theodore Roosevelt is known as the conservation president. During his eight years in office, Roosevelt created the United States Forest Service, signed the Antiquities Act into law, and designated 230 million acres of public lands including the first wildlife refuge, Pelican Island.
“There is a delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.” – Theodore Roosevelt