(27 Oct 1858 - 6 Jan 1919)
Theodore Roosevelt - A Country Without Trees
Illustrated Quote - Large Image (800 x 600 px)
The Context of “A Country Without Trees” Quote
On 4 Jan 1872, J. Sterling Morton, who had long spread an enthusiasm for planting trees, proposed a tree-planting holiday at a State Board of Agriculture meeting. The day was set for the first “Arbor Day” on 10 Apr 1872. Counties, civic organizations and individuals planted an estimated one million trees. The young state needed trees as windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and shade from the hot sun.
Arbor Day was officially proclaimed on 12 Mar 1874 by the Nebraska Governor, Robert W. Furnas to be first observed on 10 Apr 1874. It was celebrated in Nebraska City by students of different grades meeting to plant at least one tree, labelled with the graade, and to be cared for by that grade. There followed a grand parade from the schools to Nebraska City's opera house. The tradition spread nationwide by 1882.
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt penned an Arbor Day letter to the school children of the United States, in which he emphasized the necessity of careful use and the perpetuation of the country's natural resources.1
“Arbor Day (which means simply “Tree Day”) is now observed in every state in our Union—and mainly in the schools. At various times, from January to December, but chiefly in this month of April, you give a day or part of a day to special exercises and perhaps to actual tree planting, in recognition of the importance of trees to us as a Nation, and of what they yield in adornment, comfort, and useful products to the communities in which you live.
It is well that you should celebrate your Arbor Day thoughtfully, for within your lifetime the Nation's need of trees will become serious. We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied, and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted.
For the nation, as for the man or woman or boy or girl, the road to success is the right use of what we have and the improvement of present opportunity. If you neglect to prepare yourselves now for the duties and responsibilities which will fall upon you later, if you do not learn the things which you will need to know when your school days are over, you will suffer the consequences. So any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life.
A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless; forests which are so used that they can not renew themselves will soon vanish, and with them all their benefits.
A true forest is not merely a storehouse full of wood, but, as it were, a factory of wood and at the same time a reservoir of water.
When you help to preserve our forests or plant new ones you are acting the part of good citizens. The value of forestry deserves, therefore, to be taught in the schools, which aim to make good citizens of you. If your Arbor Day exercises help you to realize what benefits each one of you receives from the forests, and how by your assistance these benefits may continue, they will serve a good end.”
- Science Quotes by Theodore Roosevelt.
- Theodore Roosevelt - memorialized as a Naturalist in a tribute by John Burroughs in Natural History magazine (1919)
- Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist - memorial tribute by Henry Fairfield Osborn in Natural History magazine (1919)
- Theodore Roosevelt - Friend of Man - memorial tribute by Robert Peary in Natural History magazine (1919)
- Theodore Roosevelt and Africa - memorial tribute by Carl Akeley in Natural History magazine (1919)
- Personal Glimpses of Theodore Roosevelt - memorial tribute by David Starr Jordan in Natural History Magazine (1919).
- Roosevelt, the Man of Abundant Life - memorial tribute by Gifford Pinchot in Natural History magazine (1919).
- Theodore Roosevelt - context of his “A Country Without Trees” quote - Medium image (500 x 350 px).
- Theodore Roosevelt - context of his “Conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem” quote - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
- Theodore Roosevelt - context of his “Conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem” quote - Large image (800 x 600 px)
- The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, by Douglas Brinkley. - book suggestion.
- Booklist for Theodore Roosevelt.