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The Spirit of the Wilderness
The title of this page comes from a quote by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt:
"There are no words that can tell the spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its
mystery, its melancholy and its charm.  A nation behaves well if it treats its natural
resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation."

Pres. Roosevelt saw conservation as a means of keeping the nation's natural wealth
for the public and not leaving it solely for the economic benefit of a few.  During his
time as President, Theodore Roosevelt established 150 national forests, 51 bird
preserves and 4 game preserves; and, at his behest, Congress established 5 national
parks.  In a move to preserve prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts on public
lands, he signed the Antiquities Act and used it to create 18 national monuments.  He,
also, established the United States Forest Service.

Of all of his achievements while in office, he was proudest of his work in conserving
natural resources and extending federal protection to land and wildlife.

The photos on this page were taken in National Parks all over the world.  The top
photo is from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, USA.

-- Nancy
Above, Yosemite
National Park,
California, USA;
left, Pres. Theodore
Roosevelt, near the
same location in
Yosemite in 1903.
Krka National Park, Croatia
Hohe-Tauern National Park, Austria
The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not
yet learned to ask.  -- Nancy Newhall
Folgefonna National Park, Norway
Maasai-Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural
resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future
generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.
--  Pres. John F. Kennedy
Lake District National Park, England
These are the people's parks.  Most of them are ours today because there
were Americans many years ago who exercised vision, patience and
unselfish devotion in the battle for conservation.
The battle for conservation cannot be limited to the winning of new
conquests.  Like liberty itself, conservation must be fought for unceasingly to
protect earlier victories.  We have to remain vigilant to prevent raids by those
who would selfishly exploit our common heritage for their private gain.  Such
raids on our natural resources are not examples of enterprise and initiative,
they are attempts to take from all the people for the benefit of a few.
No man can know every element that makes a nation great.  Certainly the
lofty spirit of its people, the helpfulness of one citizen to another are
elements.  A nation's ability to provide a good living for its people is another.  
Intelligent recognition by its citizens of a nation's responsibility for world
peace and world recovery is still another.  Wise use of our natural resources
is the foundation of our effectiveness in all these efforts.
For conservation of the human spirit, we need places such as Everglades
National Park where we may be more keenly aware of our Creator's infinitely
varied and infinitely beautiful handiwork; places where we may draw strength
and peace of mind from our surroundings.
-- Pres. Harry Truman, 12-6-1947
Above, Everglades National
Park, Florida, USA;  left,
Pres. Harry Truman at the
dedication of Everglades
National Park in 1947.

Below, an excerpt from
Pres. Truman's speech
at the dedication.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar
Torres-del-Paine National Park, Chile
Malá Fatra National Park, Slovakia
Exmoor National Park, England
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota, was named in Pres.
Roosevelt's honor.  The cabin above was built in 1884 and used by
Roosevelt on the ranch he owned there.  The park memorializes
his contributions to conservation.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Mesa Verde National Park, in Colorado, protects some of the best
preserved Ancestral Puebloan sites in the U.S.  Cliff Palace,
shown above, is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.
Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
What a country chooses to save says a lot about what a
country chooses to say about itself.  -- Mollie Beattie
Denali National Park, Alaska, USA
Kakadu National Park, Australia
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The lack of power to take joy in outdoor nature is as real a
misfortune as the lack of power to take joy in books.
-- Theodore Ro
Wasgamuwa National Park, Sri Lanka
Killarney National Park, Ireland
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the
world was and what it might yet become.  These are islands in time,
with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind.  Here are bits
of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.
-- Harvey Broome
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Norh Cascades National Park, Washington, USA
Valley of Flowers National Park, India
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and
the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more
than we can ever learn from books.  -- Sir John Lubbock
Redwood National Park, California, USA
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Banff National Park, Canada
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales
Music:  Bless the Beasts and the Children
Related pages:    The People's Parks    The Dakotas
Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii, USA