Ode to the Teddys

Theodore Roosevelt–American, Ornithologist, Activist, and President–altered our behavior toward the natural world with his relentless advocacy. We owe all the land that we protect to him and to the many Teddys who followed.

Teddy introduced us to the preservationist duty we owe to our land and created an opening for more people embodying his ideals–Teddys–to continue his legacy. People like Edward Abbey, Julia Hill, Gina McCarthy, Yvonn Chouinard, Jerry Stritzke,  

Inspired by the great science of observation published and disseminated through Darwin's Origin of Species, Teddy made the life of plants, animals, and human beings his resolute commitment. Teddy Roosevelt established the famed National Park Service, whose sole purpose is to preserve and promote our natural places and "leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." His hope was that we may begin to see American land as equal to humanity in the definition of our world and stop consuming it without alarm. 

"We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so." 

Now more than ever, more than before climate change was a classified term, more than when the Reagan administration threatened to cut environmental research, more than when oil companies campaigned to deny its existence, this idea of valuing our earth alongside ourselves is jeopardized by the lunacy encased in one pair of tiny hands and the ignorance of his followers. 

Threats to abolish the EPA have been reduced...to defunding its budget, freezing all grants, and testing all EPA tested research (because that's not good enough...those people believe in climate change after all). As of today, the EPA is still under a media blackout, unable to speak for itself.

I also have sources that tell me the NPS will be  unable to hire new rangers...ever. My heart clenches as I write that. Under this rule, my future children will very likely not have a national park to visit. Sure, the grand canyon might still be there, but it will be covered in commercial crap, infested by the vanity of our species.  

Now more than ever we need a Teddy Roosevelt. Better yet, we need all be a Teddy Roosevelt. We need one of us to become all of us, standing up for what we very easily could destroy. I encourage everyone to pick up the writings, photographs, and artwork of our environmentalists. There is so much to love about where we live and without our government supporting it, the responsibility falls to us. Let us all become Teddys. 

Kiersten UteggComment