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A Journey Through Teddy Roosevelt's Wilderness

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Earlier this summer we saw the removal of a statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. It put our 26th president back in the spotlight, but then again, he never really left it.

In a new book, nature writer David Gessner looks at the life of Roosevelt as a conservationist and naturalist. Roosevelt, Gessner says, understood something no president before him had comprehended, that “there are worlds behind the human world.” He gave us our first national monument and gave the budding environmental movement its rallying cry when he proclaimed, from the rim of the Grand Canyon, “Leave it as it is.” But, Gessner reminds us, Roosevelt also was inclined to respond to natural beauty by killing it. In his book, Leave It As It Is, Gessner tracks Roosevelt’s journey from the badlands in the Dakotas to Utah’s Bears Ears, questioning along the way Roosevelt’s role as a champion of the natural world and assessing how his vision for our wilderness has played out.

David Gessner's book is Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theadore Roosevelt's American Wilderness. [IndieBound|Amazon|Bookshop|Audible].

A Salt Lake native, Benjamin Bombard served numerous internships in the KUER newsroom before becoming a producer of RadioWest. He aspired to the position for years, and in his sometimes wayward pursuit of it he has worked as a print and radio journalist in Utah, Wyoming, and California, a horse wrangler, golf course “bag rat,” dishwasher, janitor, bookseller, children’s museum guide, barista, linecook, and a male nanny or “manny.” He has dished up gelato to Mafiosos in Rhode Island, and worked as a volunteer for a health NGO in Mali, West Africa, where he politely declined an offer to act as a blood-diamond mule. He values holistic personal fitness and good, honest food. Most of his free time is spent writing, reading, preparing for hunting season, hunting when it's hunting season, and otherwise pursuing an overabundance of diverse interests and passions.
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