In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt camped in the Sierra Nevada mountains with John Muir—father of the US National Park Service. “He met me with a couple of pack mules, as well as with riding mules for himself and myself, and a first-class packer and cook, and I spent a delightful three days and two nights with him,” Roosevelt recalled.
Muir convinced the president to leave some country unmolested by development. And Roosevelt signed into existence five national parks, 55 bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and 150 forests, inspired by the Yosemite camping trip and naturalist. In all, over 230 million acres were preserved thanks to their joint conservation efforts.
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