Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thank You, Teddy Roosevelt...!

This is one thing a president did that I can really get behind.

If more constructive actions like this were done by the head man, all of us would be better off. At least, that's what I think!

On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declares the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.

Though Native Americans lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn't until 1540, by members of an expedition headed by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado.

Because of its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell led a group of 10 men in the first difficult journey down the rapids of the Colorado River and along the length of the 277-mile gorge in four rowboats.

By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was President Theodore Roosevelt, a New Yorker with a particular affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country's animals, fish and birds, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands. Though a region could be given national park status--indicating that all private development on that land was illegal--only by an act of Congress, Roosevelt cut down on red tape by beginning a new presidential practice of granting a similar "national monument" designation to some of the West's greatest treasures.

In January 1908, Roosevelt exercised this right to make more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon area into a national monument. "Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is," he declared. "You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see."

Congress did not officially outlaw private development in the Grand Canyon until 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act. Today, more than 5 million people visit the canyon each year. The canyon floor is accessible by foot, mule or boat, and whitewater rafting, hiking and running in the area are especially popular. Many choose to conserve their energies and simply take in the breathtaking view from the canyon's South Rim--some 7,000 feet above sea level--and marvel at a vista virtually unchanged for over 400 years.

I don't know of anyone that would dispute the fact that protecting the Grand Canyon from development by the Mega-corporations in this country was a very wise decision...and probably made just in time. Knowing how big industry operates and knowing that they have enough money to bribe some of the weaker lawmakers that hand out the permits to destroy, protecting it was a good move!

Anyway, thanks to Teddy...our generation and those that follow should have this beautiful area to enjoy for a long time to come. Providing, of course, we can keep from somehow blowing it up, or otherwise reeking havoc as we are often prone to do!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! OK?


Minerva said...

Hi Jim, just been catching up on your news. Please give my love to your Mum, tell her she has love & light coming from way DownUnderHere in NZ. I hope she is improving now.

Look after YOU, my friend.


Beth said...

I personally have never seen the Grand Canyon but hope to in my lifetime.
Love you,Bubba.Take care of yourself!

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -

Saw the Canyon through the glass walkway last year, built on the Indian owned portion of the rim. Very different look than the one on the other side, but the 3 mile long dirt and rock road to get there took almost 1/2 hour to navigate. Awesome to see, especially looking straight down through glass to the bottom of the gorge! Hopefully will see Carlsbad Cavern again this fall - so much of the fabulous US yet to be appreciated by this world traveller...

Big hugs -

HermitJim said...

Hey Minerva...
It's always a pleasure to hear from you, my friend!

I'll pass on the good wishes from you to Mom. I know she'll be glad to hear from you!

You take care and thanks for the good wishes...and the visit today!

Hey B...
There are so many places to go in the States that I haven't been yet. Probably won't get a chance to see them.

Wish we were closer so we could visit, but that's the way it goes!

Thanks for coming by today, Sis!

Hey Sis...
I've heard that the view from that glass walkway is really something!

I'd really like to take a raft trip down the river running through the canyon, ya know?

How fortunate we all are, living in such a beautiful country with so many beautiful places to see!

So much land...so little time!

Thanks, Sis, for coming by today!

Ben in Texas said...

Sad to say,I never been to that park. There is a great PBS series on the national parks that I think you can watch online.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
I can only imagine what the first explorers must have thought when they first laid eyes on the Grand Canyon!

I'll bet it took their breath away!

Thanks for the link...and for coming by today, buddy!

Marjie said...

I've only seen the Grand Canyon from the air. It's amazing that it's visible from, what, 4 or 5 miles up in a 727! TR did a lot of good things, no doubt.

Dizzy-Dick said...

The National Parks are our true treasures. Nothing is better than nature at her best.

Rae said...

I have flown over the Grand Canyon but never visited in person. It is a magnificent sight from above though. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Teddy Roosevelt for having so much foresight to preserve that amazing American treasure.

HermitJim said...

Hey Marjie...
If I flew, I'd like to see it from the air some day. However, me and planes don't get along very well!

Oh well, guess I'll just have to look at your pictures and some post cards, huh?

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Dizzy...
That they are, my friend!

Thanks for coming by today!

JoJo said...

Good afternoon my Friend,
This posting problem is going to drive me nuts. OK so I already am but anyway I did post this morning.:(
I have not seen the North Rim yet as it was closed for the winter when I went up last year. The South Rim is so awesome and I hope to get back up there again. President Roosevelt did a wonderful thing for us. I wish we had someone like that again to stop the horrible mess they are making out of this State.

Hope your mom is making headway to getting better. Hugs to you both

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

Wish more of the Govt. would see & understand the importance of slowing down all this "progress" elsewhere. Truly a shame how so many let money run their lives & decisions out of greed.