During his Presidency, more than 200,000,000 acres of land were granted protective status. Roosevelt dedicated for preservation over 150 National Forests, 51 Bird Preservations, 18 National Monuments, and 21 Federal irrigation projects under the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, and designated 5 National Parks.
At the opening of the Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources on May 13, 1908, President Roosevelt outlined his beliefs regarding good natural resource utilization and management: “…the prosperity of our people depends directly on the energy and intelligence with which our natural resources are used. It is equally clear that these resources are the final basis of national power and perpetuity.”
President Roosevelt recognized two classes of natural resources: those that are incapable of renewal, which he declared must be wisely used, and those “which can not only be used in such manner as to leave them undiminished for our children, but can actually be improved by wise use.” He further stated that “man can improve on nature by compelling the resources to renew and even reconstruct themselves in such manner as to serve increasingly beneficial uses.”