Theodore Roosevelt first traveled west in 1883 to pursue his boyhood dreams of frontier life. When he returned to New York in 1886, he began to lobby for conservation and his presidency would mark a turning point for the nation's wilderness and wildlife.
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From boyhood, Theodore Roosevelt showed the restless energy, penetrating intellect, and boundless curiosity that would later make him famous.
Theodore Roosevelt traveled west in 1883 to pursue his boyhood dream of frontier life. He planned it as a hunting trip. But once there, Roosevelt bought a cattle ranch in what is now western North Dakota, a stark landscape known as the Badlands.
Roosevelt’s presidency marked a turning point for the nation’s wilderness and wildlife. Roosevelt had fought to protect threatened animals and forests. He also wanted to ensure that the public would always have access to the nation’s natural wonders.
Throughout his political career, Roosevelt sustained an intense curiosity about the natural world. Within a few years of leaving the presidency, Roosevelt nearly died while charting an unmapped Brazilian river.
Today, global conservation efforts at the American Museum of Natural History and other organizations continue Roosevelt’s legacy by working to conserve the environment for future generations.