By The Rev. Thomas M. Boles, DMin., D.D., PhD.
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty
He who is waiting for something
to turn up might start with his
own shirt sleeves.
Many people remember President Theodore
Roosevelt as an avid hunter and sportsman. Few, however,
know of his efforts for conservation, which is a far greater legacy.
After a hunting trip to the Dakota region in 1887, years
before he was president, Roosevelt returned to his East
Coast home reporting that trees were being cut down
carelessly, animals were being slaughtered by “swinish
game-butchers,” and that the wilderness was in danger.
He expressed great shock at how quickly this region that
he loved was being stripped of its glory; the big game
gone, the ponds drying up, the beavers disappearing, the
grasslands becoming desert.
But Roosevelt did more than talk. He founded the
Boone Crockett Club, dedicated to the preservation of
wilderness in America. Largely through that club’s influence,
legislation was passed to care for Yellowstone National Park,
to protect sequoia trees in California, to set aside nature
reserves for bird and sea life, and to limit the shooting of
Laws were also passed to regulate hunting practices.
Hoping for change rarely brings about change. Work,
however, generally does!