Eleanor Roosevelt and the wilderness

It’s amazing what we can stumble upon when doing research. When I was working on my film about Howard Zahniser, I discovered an article Eleanor Roosevelt had written in the early 1950s outlining her opposition to a proposed dam that would have been constructed within Dinosaur National Monument. The sentiment appeared in Ms. Roosevelt’s “My Day” column, which she wrote six days a week for more than an astounding twenty-five years. In it, she called for all Americans to take up the cause of protecting our lands, saying, 

“The whole National Park system and State Park system, our nationally-owned and state-owned forests, and all of our natural resources, mean the future of our country. If they are wasted or wrongly used, our children and grandchildren may inherit bare mountains and a land no longer able to support them. Therefore, anything that happens in any of these areas is of interest to all of us.”

The efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt, Howard Zahniser, David Brower and many other individuals and organizations ultimately prevailed in protecting Dinosaur National Monument, but more than 60 years later the forces of consumption are still trying to chip away at our public lands, particularly those designated to remain forever wild.