August 24, 2009
Who Said It?
By Kirk Deeter
See if you can guess which ultra-liberal tree-hugger said the following:
"Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things sometimes seek to champion them by saying that 'the game belongs to the people.' So it does; and not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people. The 'greatest good for the greatest number' applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us to restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wildlife and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method."
Okay, I'll tell you...
Theodore Roosevelt. Republican. Twenty-sixth President of the United States. The quote leads a book by Douglas Brinkley titled The Wilderness Warrior. It's an interesting read, even if the author doesn't quite connect in spirit to the hunting obsession that fueled Roosevelt's efforts. Ultimately, however, the book illiminates just how profoundly Roosevelt impacted the conservation movement, which makes it worth checking out. Indeed, Teddy Roosevelt's legacy comprises millions of public acres where we can hunt and fish today.
It would be nice if, 100 years after Roosevelt, politicians from both sides of the aisle would honor that legacy with renewed effort to do even more. Who do you see carrying the torch?