Montana Ethic Project: What we owe Theodore Roosevelt


Joey and Libbie Early

Former Secretary of State Bob Brown says no president was as closely related to Montana as Theodore Roosevelt, and no president had a more lasting impact on the state.

This is the 17th chapter of the 32-part video series “The Montana Ethic Project.” This chapter features former Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown speaking on “Teddy Roosevelt’s Shadow in Montana’s Big Sky.”

You can watch the whole video below. Here is how it begins:

“Theodore Roosevelt disliked the nickname Teddy. However, he loved Montana, and he is deeply connected to our state.”

Here is another, edited excerpt from Brown’s presentation:

“Of great present-day significance to Montana, TR directly used his power to protect our natural resources. When he became president in 1901, the United States contained 43 million acres of land which were reserved for the public. When he left office in 1909 he had expanded that number to 194 million acres.

“Because of TR, Montana has the Beaverhead-Deer lodge National Forest, the Kootenai National Forest, the Custer National Forest, the Lolo National Forest, the Helena National Forest and the Kaniksu National Forest. Only Alaska, California, and Idaho have more forestland than Montana.

“This great and far-sighted accomplishment did not come without great controversy. When TR created the U.S. Forest Service in 1905 to oversee the management of the forest reserves, the new agency and the forests it supervised was denounced by many high-level politicians including Montana Gov. Edwin L. Norris and Montana United States Sen. William A. Clark. Montanans don’t need any more federal land grabs, protested Gov. Norris. Sen. Clark angrily stated in regard to the conservation of natural resources that it was up to this generation to take care of itself, and for future generations to take care of themselves.”

PERC_Logo_MontanaEthicPERC—the Property & Environment Research Center—is a proud sponsor of the Montana Ethic Project. To learn how PERC’s ideas can help us honor one another’s rights to land, water, and wildlife,visit

First week: Project introduction.

Second week: Richard Drake on “Terrorism and the Consolation of History.”

Third week: Mike Gear on “The Value of Athletics.”

Fourth week: Franke Wilmer on “Gender Equity.”

Fifth week: Gordon Brittan on “The Founding Fathers.”

Sixth week: Jim Posewitz on “Montana Sportsmen and the Hunter’s Ethic.”

Seventh week: The Rev. Jessica Crist on “Religion and Politics: Can They Co-exist?”

Eighth week: Chuck Tooley on “The Montana Character.”

Ninth week: Steve Bullock on “Citizens United v. Montana.”

10th week: Carol Williams on “The Imperative for Female Government Participation.”

11th week: Bob Rowe on Technological Development.”

12th weekGeorge Metcalfe on “Economic Development in Africa and Its Relationship to Montana.”

13th weekBruce Smith on “Montana’s Food Economy.”

14th week: Peggy Beltrone on “Montana Wind Energy—Business and Politics.”

15th week: Mark Solon on “Creating an Intermountain West Startup Economy.”

16th week: Bill Yellowtail on “Futuring and Native Leadership.”

17th week: Judy Martz on “Trust in the Lord and He Will Direct Your Path.”

Next week: Gordon Belcourt on “A Montana Native Perspective.”

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