President Roosevelt’s contributions to our wilderness

"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm." -President Theodore Roosevelt 

This Presidents Day we'd like to recognize the contributions to paddling that President Roosevelt made. Perhaps more than any other US President in history, he established the protections for our country's rivers with exceptional value. Roosevelt helped establish 230 million acres of public lands, 150 national forests, 18 national monuments and 5 national parks, enlarged numerous others, and along the way created the modern United States Forest Service and signed the Antiquities Act, later using it to protect the Grand Canyon and the Olympic Peninsula. Among the national forests he set aside, one of the largest was the Gila National Forest, a large portion of which would later be preserved as the Gila Wilderness. The central feature of this Wilderness is the Gila River, an incredible multi-day river trip with Native American ruins, fantastic camping and hidden hot springs set in a remote desert canyon. As part of their celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act our partners American Whitewater are working to designate the Gila River as New Mexico's 5th Wild and Scenic River.