Teddy Roosevelt was a big conservationist and proposed much legislation to conserve the natural resources that people had been abusing and exhausting. His first act was the Desert Land Act of 1877. This allowed the federal government to sell arid and dry land at a low price as long as the buyer irrigated the land within 3 years. Another act was the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, which allowed TR to save and set aside public forests as national parks and other reserves. Around 46 million acres were saved from destruction. The Carey Act of 1894 gave federal land away to those who promised to irrigate and settle the land. TR also passed the Newlands Act of 1902, which saved money from the sale of public lands in the west and used that money to develop irrigation dams. Settlers paid for the cost of reclamation and that money was used to finance more similar projects. He also reserved 125 million acres as federal reserves. In the Hetch Hetchy controversy, preservationists wanted to maintain the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite but the city of San Francisco wanted to build a dam. TR believed in using nature intelligently and developed the idea of "multiple-use resource management," and idea that combined recreation, logging, protection, and stock grazing on the same piece of land.
Here TR stands with his party in front of a big tree in California. He had passed many acts to reserve land so the lumbermen could not destroy or harm such lands. There was a controversy in California that involved building a dam in Yosemite in the the Hetch Hetchy Valley but TR believed that nature should be used wisely and allowed the construction of the dam. TR was a great conservationist who pioneered the building of dams and encouraged the nourishment of dry lands. This picture shows that he wanted to preserve the natural state of America and keep it from being destroyed since he believed that these lands provided individualism and democracy to our country.