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Biographies Unit Biographies

Theodore Roosevelt 1858–1919
The President Who Created National Parks

When he was a boy in New York City, Theodore Roosevelt's father taught him that he had a duty to serve his country. In college, Roosevelt studied government. He enjoyed playing sports and being outdoors. Before working for the United States government, he lived on a cattle ranch in North Dakota. Roosevelt never forgot the beauty of North Dakota's land and wildlife.

Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States in 1901. His experience in North Dakota caused him to want to protect land and animals in the United States. Using his power as President, he created 150 national forests, 5 national parks, 51 federal bird reservations, and 18 national monuments. Roosevelt said, “People should see to it that [forestlands] are preserved [kept safe] for their children and their children's children forever…”

Comprehension Check

How many national parks did Theodore Roosevelt create?

Critical Thinking

Why is it important to protect national forests?